Adventures In Offense and Forgiveness

Forgiveness is so weird.

When I was a kid, my oldest brother would baby sit for mom and dad when they went out. It was sometimes a happy evening. There would be board games, TV, and my favorite, home made popcorn. Elder brother made some very good popcorn with hot melted butter and plenty of salt.

In my memory, he was always healthy, I don't remember him ever being ill. But he was a “miracle child” of sorts. He developed polio when very young, and I'm sure my parents were scared to death for him. Certainly modern medicine played a part, but I was told the treatments that eventually cured him were very painful. Being a Catholic family, I know many prayers went up to the Father.

Perhaps that explains some of why they wouldn't listen. Not to diminish my brother's toughness in continuing with the struggle, but his cure was an answer to prayer, proof of God's awareness of their sorrow. It's my understanding that Salk could prevent the dreaded disease, but not cure it. How my brother was spared I don't know, except for God's intervention.

I don't know why my brother seemed to pick me out for torment; perhaps I was too much of a handful, a whiner, or a baby for him. Maybe having been freed from having to watch from the sidelines, he resented being put back on the sidelines for his slobbering, helpless siblings. He used to beat me up. I'm not sure if he ever really hurt me, I don't remember that. But I remember being terrified whenever my parents went out. And I remember they had a very difficult time believing me.

No comments: