I have posted recently about my brother’s wife leaving him. This event has upset the apple cart of my family of origin.
My brother is a farmer and his wife left him right before harvest. She was his grain cart driver and she was very good at that. I went with him last year on a combine run and I took note of how well she performed this task.
This year he had to hire this task out. His hired hand could only work until the end of this week. Problem is that my brother is not done with harvest. So my brother-in-law, John, is coming to help him finish harvest.
It is such a relief to all of us that God has provided help for my brother through this time of hardship.
Yet, it is not the harvest which vexes my soul as much as how the little town I grew up in has responded to this hardship.
I am hearing all kinds of lies and rumors about my brother. My brother has been rumored to have had an adulterous affair, someone has lied and said he was the father of this other woman’s baby, the rumors have grown in their evil to include his massage therapist also.
I do not know who is spreading these rumors but they have hurt my brother so much that he doesn’t want to even go into town.
I know that some of the ones who have spread the lies have been church members of the church I grew up in. I have wanted to go back there and take over the pulpit and give those small town idiots a piece of my mind.
As I have been cooking for my brother to send him care packages I have been rehearsing my speech. I have been full of self-righteous indignation at the lunacy of those small minded people.
Then yesterday I was listening to Christian radio and the Turning Point sermon. The pastor quoted Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
I had to check myself. I was not thinking about these gossip mongers with any bit of gentleness. I was willing to throw hell fire and brimstone at them on account of my brother. I wanted to wring their necks. What God wanted me to do is most likely to pray for them.
There is a reason why I moved away from this town. I am so thankful I am not within driving distance of it because I know I am not yet at the stage of “gentleness.”
I know my brother did not do wrong. He only had lunch with this other woman but he should have always had his wife present. He did not engage in any physical intimacy with this woman. A sexual affair was out of the question.
My brother is having his divorce hearing this next Friday. I would like to ask for intercessory prayer for him. He is at risk of losing everything he has worked for all of his life.
There are few people in the world which I love as much as I love my brother. Even though he was three years older than me and a boy, as a little girl I knew one thing was certain. I would always be his protector because I was fearless and he always had so much fear.
I would also ask that you pray for me. To see him go through this much pain is torture for my heart. To lose a sister-in-law which I dearly loved is even worse than torture.
I am realizing that the path from heart break to gentleness may be a very long and tortured road.