A BIG BROTHER

Activated - - NEWS - BY ELSA SICHROVSKY ELSA SICHROVSKY IS A FREE­LANCE WRITER. SHE LIVES WITH HER FAM­ILY IN TAI­WAN.

ONE DAY WHEN I WAS NINE, my older brother and I went for a swim. I hadn’t yet learned how to swim prop­erly and could only do a lit­tle dog-pad­dling and float­ing on my back. My older brother was an ex­cel­lent swim­mer, which was why my par­ents had sent him along to keep an eye on me. He and I had ar­gued that morn­ing over some­thing I can’t even re­mem­ber, so I was an­noyed that my par­ents in­sisted on him be­ing there. I was de­ter­mined to do my own thing and in­sisted on swim­ming laps by my­self.

I started from the pool’s shal­low end, and was float­ing along on my back for a while un­til it sud­denly struck me that I might be near­ing the end of the pool, and I wor­ried about bump­ing my head on the pool wall. Think­ing that I was just cen­time­ters away from the edge, I flipped over. In fact I’d only reached about three-fourths of the pool’s length, but I al­ready couldn’t reach the bot­tom. I pan­icked and started thrash­ing about wildly, which only served to get more wa­ter into my nose and mouth. Chok­ing and strug­gling des­per­ately, I felt two arms around my waist lift­ing me above wa­ter and tak­ing me pool­side.

“Are you okay?” my brother asked. I mut­tered some­thing while sput­ter­ing out pool wa­ter, feel­ing em­bar­rassed and ex­pect­ing him to chide me. In­stead, he qui­etly waited un­til I calmed down and then brought me home.

Looking back, my older brother and I weren’t par­tic­u­larly close. We squab­bled over the small­est is­sues, like who had got­ten a thicker slice of toast for break­fast. But the day he res­cued me in the pool showed the strength of our si­b­ling bond. In spite of all our dif­fer­ences, at the mo­ment when I most needed him, he was at my side.

My brother’s love also served as an il­lus­tra­tion of how Je­sus, my spir­i­tual Big Brother, is my ever-present help in time of trou­ble. Even when I turn away from Him in my pride and stub­born­ness, and ar­gue with Him about His ways of work­ing in my life, He doesn’t let my haughty pre­ten­sions of in­de­pen­dence keep Him from putting His arms around me dur­ing times of dan­ger and stress.

Though our feel­ings come and go, God’s love for us does not. — C.S. Lewis (1898–1963)

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