Friday, February 28, 2014

A Letter to a Young Brother,

We rarely see eye to eye. In fact, we never do. Nonetheless, we've struggled together for years, attempting to learn from one another and respect who God continues to make us into. And it's for this reason that I write, in hopes that you'll hear me in the only way I know I can communicate clearly. I'm ignorant sometimes and I'm sorry for any hurt I've caused because of that. Among the many things that have turned you against the Church, I pray that if I have done anything it's showing you the love of a God that wants nothing more then to be with you. I know that He aches at the idea of you giving up on Him. I know, because I do. And if I do, after all the bashing of heads and miscommunications that have happened between us, there's not a doubt in mind that he does. I wrestled with God one Saturday night, while you were tucked away from all the bells and whistles, frustrated both with Him and you for not doing anything else. Then I realized in doing that I found myself in the same rut that you are in. I expected God to do something specific and that didn't happen, but that doesn't mean He didn't answer. Sometimes the answer is no, because only a good God knows when that is the right response. Sometimes the answer is silence, because He wants us to listen that much harder. Since then, I find myself whispering the Lord's Prayer when I think of you, because they are the only words that seem to make sense through all of this. "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done..." If it were up to me, God would reveal Himself to you in some huge, magnificent way that could only be explained by Him. "...Your will be done..." It's harder to say when you don't know what it all entails.

With very little time left together, I know my influence grows weaker and weaker in your life. Please know that I pray for you and that you have not been given up on. I hope that one day God will make himself known to you, but I also challenge you to listen for Him in ways you're not expecting. Not all disagreement is bad; not all conflict equates to being personally attacked. God will never be done with you, just as He continually works on me. When all else keeps us apart, I know that this truth keeps us united as brothers. I encourage you to read about Mother Teresa's own struggles of faith. I thought you'd like her story because of how important marginalized people are to you. I wish I had that same sympathy. It's easy for me to push people off when I don't know what to do with them, but you've taught me more about Christ's love then even you understand. Henri Nouwen is another person's story you may connect to better than my own. If nothing else, I pray that you don't give up; please, keep searching, because there is a love that makes all things new and rights all wrongs, even the wrongs that have happened to you.

Forever hopeful,

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