My Brother

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 John 4:20-21

My brother had a personal brand for a while. It was "Dead Existence" Alive, but not really living.  It's been 5-months since 19 Jul 23 when my mother called and at first I thought she was just talking fast as she does sometimes and thought it was a fun conversation at first but I remember the moment in the conversation of Mike and "He died."  

The girls and were supposed to go to Orlando--to Universal for a few days or Christian concerts at the park.  I originally was going to reach out to my brother, Mike, and ask him if he wanted to hang out with his brother and 2-Nieces.  My youngest misses him the most.  It was going to be a little surprise because we hadn't talked in over a year or so.  I couldn't hang with the relationship troubles he usually found himself in and was dealing with my own at that time.  

Many years ago he was living in West Virginia with another girl and we had kept in touch a bit.  She ended up leaving him and I extended the offer for him to come move to Texas with me and at the time my girlfriend.  At first, the got back together, then she left again and he took me up on my offer.

A lot of people helped him out in San Antonio.  Let him use a car, helped him find a job, we rented a large 2-bedroom townhome.  He met a girl, they moved to FL, got married, had a son, got divorced. Had a girlfriend, had another girlfriend at the same time.  Was married a couple times before that with another son whom doesn't even know his father and another daughter he was seeing regularly until the last girlfriend.

I can first-hand attest to the childhood we had growing up that led to a lot, if not all of his desires to find love in a person.  He died driving himself to the ER clenching his chest.  He texted me the day before asking me to tell mom to call him, "like now please."  She talked to him for a couple hours and couldn't calm his anxious heart down.  His current girlfriend had checked herself into rehab.  Not a bad thing at all.  Sent him a letter that essentially, what I know, said she didn't want to get married right away.  That sent his mind to a really dark place that literally caused a heart attack.  He tried face-timing my sister who was at work, she asked if he was ok and he said no, on the way to the ER.  That was it.

He just turned 54, and I tell folks it was 54-years of pain.  we never had a childhood growing up, we had a couple good times when he lived with me in Texas. He was always grateful for what I was able to do for him but I know I would have done some things differently.  I know I should have reached out and said hey we're coming down this weekend, it was the same week he died. 

I had read 1 John 4:20-21 in the past and took that to heart and is why I tried to look out for him at times.  Granted his own choices made things hard but sometimes when all you know is survival mode you do some dumb things. 

There's a lot more to the story but I looked at what do I do with this, I had moved to Florida for many reasons but he was now only 7-hours away, not 20+ which I had done a couple of times--to Treasure Island/St. Pete.  So I realize that a lot of folks live a "Dead Existence" and it's exactly what the enemy wants for us.  There is a ministry here, everything I captured above is negated by Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection.  Love is unconditional, true and perfect.  We are not to be anxious about anything, live for today, not tomorrow.  Share love with one another.  I realize that if I was a Christian at any point along those years, not just a guy that went to church maybe I would have understood more of what loving your brother meant.  

So I have challenged myself to build upon this, to share with folks that their is no condemnation in Christ, so it doesn't matter what you have done--I did share that with some 18th Street Gangsters in San Pedro Sula years ago.  There is true peace in Christ, there is purpose in helping people avoid the death the enemy so much wants for us.  To get out of the rut, despair, anxiety and depression.  not worry about tomorrow so much.  Seek out others that want good for you, not to harm you.  The Body of Christ. 

Not sure what this all looks like yet, but it is, as I am, a work in progress.

God bless you all.


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