A Brother’s Love Has No Bounds
His love has no words.
When our sons were young, I sometimes thought they would never make it to adulthood. Fortunately, their arguments and fights left no one injured. We always called their bickering “brotherly love.”
Now they are grown…yes, they survived to become wonderful adults. They get together, have some fun, and help each other when able.
There is another family I know where the mother, Jane, said the same thing—she didn’t think her sons would become adults, either. She said her boys couldn’t even be in the same room together when growing up. But they, too, grew into fine adults.
Jane and one of her sons, Tom, became members of Zion’s Lutheran Church, Old Zionsville in 2003, when he was hired as the church’s organist. His love for music is evident in everything he plays.
He was also a teacher, giving piano lessons and passing on that love to future generations. Tom could play almost anything at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes, he and my son, Donald, also a musician, would get together to play a piece of music for a church service. Practicing together is always difficult, since Donald lives away from the area.
“No problem,” Tom would say. “Just be at the church a half hour before the service starts.” They would sound like they rehearsed together for weeks.
But in 2010, everything changed. Tom, still a young man, suffered a series of strokes that left him in a wheelchair and unable to use his right hand. For Tom and all of us, it was devastating.
In the time since he has left the hospital and returned to worship at the church, I have watched his brother, Gary, care for him. It is inspiring to see him attend to every need, and at times use some “tough love” to have Tom do something on his own. As Tom walks along with his walker, Gary proudly and patiently walks with him, smiling along the way.
I watch as Gary holds the hymnal so Tom can follow along, possibly singing in his heart. Or maybe listening to the music being played on the piano.
Tom works hard at playing music with his left hand. He periodically plays a piece of music for the congregation on the piano. But the organ remains silent most services, as though awaiting Tom’s return.
Tom and Gary remind me of the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth," written by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson in 1955. Here are some of the words:
…With god as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony…
We need to follow these words and be with each other in good times and bad. Share in the joy of a new job, addition to a family, or a new home. Be supportive during a job hunt, loss of family members or illness. Resolve disagreements.
Let’s all be like those grown-up brothers and walk together “in perfect harmony.”