God, you’re so good. You create the most beautiful things out of such wrecked ugliness.
I grew up with a brother who has been a drug addict the majority of my life. He has either been in prison or is going to prison. It’s so painful to watch someone you love hurt themselves, and others, so significantly.
It leaves you feeling hopeless. You want to fix them, but it’s not your role. And you want to stop the pain, but you can’t. You feel anger, betrayal, hopelessness.
Something amazing, God-amazing, happened this month.
For my birthday God explicitly told me to write my brother a letter before my birthday, so as a procrastinator I did it on my birthday. I posted the letter on my blog and titled it “The Beginning” because I knew God was creating something. God doesn’t tell you to do something without showing up.
I sent off the letter trusting that God would move. And He did.
My brother has had a real encounter with Jesus. He is being transformed. Through our correspondence this month I see my brother with such clarity like I’ve never experienced before. The bulk of our 20s he has been in prison. In fact, the last eight Christmases he has been behind bars. I’ve received phone calls, letters, etc., from him and they are always from an addict. He talks the “God talk” because he knows that will gain him favor with me, although he stopped doing this years ago when I was so hurt by him that I let him go. Nearly three years ago. Communication cut off.
Then he began writing me letters beginning in August. It was an addict letter. Asking me to do things for him, contact so-and-so, send him this, do this, do that, take, take, take. And then this month something had changed. It’s wasn’t the addict. It was David, my brother.
Of course, I am fighting cynicism. Can I trust this? Is this really the truth? Is he going to get out in 16 months and go back to his old life? I don’t know. The answer is I don’t know. But I have learned something recently — I want to feel all the feels. Be excited. Be disappointed. Because my hope and trust is in Jesus. I can handle the ups and downs because God is my constant.