Hey, there –
Last week my friends were posting all kinds of photos of their brothers and sisters for Sibling Day, and I couldn’t help but think of you. I don’t even know how long it has been since we talked —15 years, or maybe even 20? I’m not even sure why you cut me out of your life when you did. Did I look or sound too much like Mom, I wonder? All I know is I still miss you.
I do know that people you love and trust told you to avoid me because I’m a Christian. They told me as much. They said I’d only be out to convert you. They’re partly right.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that I want to point you to Christ. And who could blame me? If I truly believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but through Him, I would be a hypocrite to behave otherwise.
But here’s the reality. You’re really all I have left of my birth family, and I desperately want to see someone from my family in heaven. But I have continued to love and reach out to you even when you reject my faith and even when you reject me.
You see, I know the reason your loved ones tell you to avoid me. They think I’ll judge you. You’ve never told me about your lifestyle, but I’ve known for a very long time—long before you stopped communicating with me. And I never judged you. I only loved you.
This may surprise you. You probably expected less from me. But I have no reason to feel superior. Yes, I view your choices as sinful, but God’s word tells me your sin is no greater than mine. All it would have taken was one little white lie to send Jesus to the cross. And we both know I’m guilty of way more than that.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.—James 2:10
Maybe you’ll allow me in your life if I never speak of Jesus again. If that’s the case, I can’t make that promise. Jesus is mine, and I am His, and I cannot separate the Jesus in me from myself. I hope those who know me can look at me and say . . .
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.—Colossians 3:3
Years ago, before you were poisoned against me, you came to stay with me and my family. One day you broke down in tears. I asked you what was wrong. “I’ve never seen so much love,” you said through snot tears. “Joe, it’s the love of Jesus,” I told you. Do you remember that love? It’s still there for you, in my heart and in His.
Over the years, I have listened to this particular song by Sara Groves and always thought of you as I sang along. Listen to it, and you’ll hear my heart. She sings, “The only thing that isn’t meaningless to me is Jesus Christ and the way He set me free. This is all that I am; this is all that I have.” That will not change with or without you in my life. But I somehow think each of our lives would be richer if the other one were in it.