I was only eight years old when I stood on the bank of a very deep irrigation ditch watching for any signs of my little brother, Delbert, who had fallen in the murky water. I waited and watched for him to bob-up just like a cork when we were fishing.
After what seemed like a very long time, I started panicking and said to my other little brother, Stan, “Go as fast as you can back to the house to get Mama:”
I continued to watch alternately between the ditch water and Stan disappearing ever so slowly down the country road. I know he was going as fast as his little legs could carry him, but he needed to go faster.
Mom had told us when we left the house, “Whatever you kids do, don’t go near the irrigation ditch and don’t ever throw rocks in it because you might forget to let go and fall in with it.”
Why didn’t we listen? We were having such a good time plopping those rocks in the water. That is, until Delbert fell in.
Where was Delbert? Where were Stan and Mom? What should I do?
I jumped in the dirty water despite the fact that I couldn’t swim. I felt around until I felt something. I believed it to be my brother so started pulling and tugging until I saw Delbert’s head out of the water.
By this time, Mom and Stan had arrived and Mom helped me get Delbert out of the water and onto the bank. She started working on Delbert. To my relief, he coughed a few times and Mom said, “He is going to be all right.”
Mom didn’t waste any time. She proceeded immediately with the lecture, “Why do you kids do the things I tell you not to do?”
We answered almost in unison, “I don’t know.”
Temptation has been around since the beginning of time as we know it. We remember the temptation is the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Further along in the book of Genesis is the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4:7 the Lord said to Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
As the scripture continues, we find that Cain killed his brother. Verse 9 picks up with “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know.’ He replied, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?”
We are our brother’s keeper, whether they are siblings in our immediate family or the people who live down the street, in our community or across the world. Someone is drowning and we are called to respond.
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