Life from the rear-view mirror

A brother and a diving board….Vol 19

March 26, 2013 | Comment

It was just me and my brother growing up. Mom and dad wanted another child, but a scare with my mom’s health, followed by surgery, meant that my brother and I wouldn’t get a sister.

That was OK. We enjoyed a rich life. Looking back, we were told we never had much money…but we didn’t feel that in any way. We had a great life! We always had food to eat…things to do…the lights never went off and we got to go to Disney in 1970. Is there more?

Anyway…my brother and I didn’t always get along. He was younger by 3 years and we were very competitive…at everything. He had the brains and I had the brawn growing up… Today? He still has the brains…and there’s brawn enough to go around 🙂 trust me.

I don’t remember exactly how old we were… but there was a family reunion one summer and the place had a big pool with a diving board. We were in heaven. I was playing around doing flips off the board and just enjoying the time in the sun and water. I watched as my brother stepped out on the diving board. He wasn’t all that crazy about flipping around and stuff…more of a dive or jump kid at that age … but I watched him start his walk down the board, saw the jump at the end of the board and then watched him as he tried a front flip. Something didn’t look right. He didn’t jump very high or very far out…I’m thinking he’s not going to clear the board and WHAM! I see (and hear) his head hit the diving board. The minute he entered the water I saw the blood and just dove in after him. My parents said I sort of “yanked” him out of the water onto the side of the pool. I don’t remember..I just knew he was hurt and all the bickering and fighting and name-calling and ping-pong paddle throwing vanished. At that moment It was just about getting him out of the pool and making sure he was breathing and safe.

As I recall he had a nasty cut on his head…but no concussion…he was alright.

I really didn’t think much about it after that. occasionally my mother will bring it up. I’m sure we went back to normal which meant that we fought and threw ping-pong paddles at each other and the lot. We were brothers after all.

We say that love is a verb. It demands action. We see that in a large sense when Christ tells us that he was not willing that any should perish…or when he said Christ demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still sinners he died for us. I believe that with all my heart and at 15 years old put my faith and trust in Christ.  But love is also very personal and sometimes demands personal, purposeful action. Maybe it’s not yanking your brother out of a pool after he whacks his head on the diving board. But maybe it IS buying groceries for a family in need, or taking care of an injured spouse or hundreds of other things that demonstrate love in a way that’s real… in a way impacts others..In a way that changes lives. Real love acts out… Without the willingness to act out in love… love is simply a fuzzy sentiment.

The next time you tell your spouse you love them…think about what that might mean. What you might have to give to demonstrate your love. When you tuck your kids in at night and say “I love you” do you mean that you will do what love may demand of you? Even if it’s hard? Even if it hurts?

When things are great…love is easy. When the storms come…love can be hard…nearly impossible.

But nothing is too hard for God. God can love others through us. He provides the power to “act out” in love. No matter what.

They will know that we are Christians by the love we have for each other… John 13:35

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