We heard banging at the front door, followed by, “Hey, Sis!”
My heart tore and assumptions began as I walked to the door and opened it for my
youngest brother. “Hi Bryan.” He didn’t prove me wrong.
Bloodshot and glassy eyes peered at me, his speech slurred. “Hey!” he said.
I sighed. His breath reeked of his recent guzzling. He gave me his lop-sided grin and
socked me on the arm. His ‘love pat’ always hurt... in more ways then one. It was a
badge of his inebriated state. He swaggered in and plopped down on a chair.
My oldest brother and family were visiting They sat at the card table in the middle of a
game. I sat back down as everyone greeted each other. My mind raced with
scenarios. What was it this time? It seemed he always reached out to me when he
needed help. The phone calls could come any time of day or night. “Sis, I’m in the
hospital. Had a wreck, I’m being released. Can you come get me? Sis, I’m stuck in
Kentucky. Can you drive down here and get me? It’s just a couple of hours. Sis, I’m in
jail. Could you come visit me, bring me some money, bring me a TV, bring me... get
me... do this for me?” His need was always great. His reasons, rarely truthful.
“Do you want to play?” I hoped aloud. “We just started. You can pull up your chair.”
“Nah. I’ll just sit here,” he garbled.
“What’s going on, Bryan?” I asked my shaved, well-dressed brother.
“Can we go outside and talk, Sis?” he said through his thickened tongue.
“Sure, let’s go out front.”
He stumbled back outside and I followed, shutting the door behind me. I sat down on
the step beside him. He talked with his hands and his big eyes popped as he told me
how miserable he was.
“Bryan, you’re going to be miserable until you seek help. There’s One who will be glad
to help you. You’ve got to let Him have control of your life. Give yourself to Him.” He
knew what I meant. It wasn’t the first time he’d heard those things from me.
“That stuff works for you and Mom, Sis, but not for me.”
“Yes it can work for you. Jesus is real, He cares about you. He’ll make your life better.
He is waiting for you to come to Him... Why do you think you are alive? You’ve
wrecked, what... six vehicles? Seven? Missing poles by an inch... Going off into deep
culverts... backwaters... Bryan, you should be dead! Why do you suppose you’re not?”
His ranting paused, “I don’t know...”
“Because God has preserved you. He has a purpose for your life.”
Because of his drunkenness, he couldn’t hear me, he just echoed again and again, “I
can quit drinking any time I want. That’s not the problem. I’m not happy. Life is
worthless. It’s not fair. There’s no hope for me.”
We ‘talked’ for an hour when the desperation in his eyes and face exploded, his hands
in front of his face, fingers out-stretched, pleading, begging me for answers, “I need
PEACE! I DON’T HAVE NO PEACE! IN HERE!” he cried, banging his chest.
I looked at the deep pain flaming from my brother’s face. Tears flowed as we both
cried. He was a prisoner. In bondage to his original choices that soon turned on him
and purchased his life. I could do nothing. I had the answer but the alcohol concealed
the truth so he couldn’t comprehend it. He just looked at me. Helpless. Wanting
someone to make things right for him. Refusing to accept the only One who could.
He was enslaved, held by vast and mighty chains. Chains that would never be
loosened until a power greater than all others was allowed to smash them, demolishing
their impermeable grip. And if permitted, the freedom, wrought by that life-saving
deliverance, that extraordinary escape, would bring the peace Bryan so yearned for.
I had shown him the way, but he couldn’t, wouldn’t relinquish his own false sense of
control. I took his hands in mine and prayed aloud.
Today he keeps busy, trying to build a good life for himself. But he has never yet found
the one thing he most desires. For he cannot allow himself to submit to the Great
Healer. He still works to do it all on his own. And peace, for Bryan, is an illusive dream.
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