Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Friendship with my Brother – Part 5

I remember telling my brother “Brad” I wanted to make sure his life and suffering were not wasted. I asked him if he had anything he learned that he wanted to communicate to others to help them. He said to tell anyone who is thinking of playing just a little with sexual sin this scripture:

“Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” - Proverbs 6:27-28

Brad and I had talked when we were children about what would happen if we were sick and could not speak. We agreed that if that ever happened, we could communicate by a hand signal. Grabbing tighter meant yes and letting go meant no. The night before he died, Brad’s breathing changed. I asked him if he wanted me to pray and he could not speak, so he grabbed my hand, then my wrist, then up the arm to my elbow. I remembered our childhood conversation. I understood perfectly. He was saying yes, YES, YES!! I prayed that God would be with him and help him through this. Brad grabbed my arm again in agreement. I cried. I knew God would go with him in death, helping him where I couldn’t help right now. The following day I was helping a nurse turn him over and he moaned in pain and took his last breath. His heart stopped. It was over....

A few days after Brad’s funeral my parents got a call from Tiffany, Brad’s high school “girlfriend”. She said she was recently divorced and wanted to know how Brad was doing. They told her he had just died. She burst into tears and hung up. She had NO idea that he was gay and sick from an HIV infection. We never heard from her again.

8 comments:

Brandon said...

You have me in tears, MR.

I'm sorry you lost your brother. I couldn't imagine how hard that would be. And I wish he hadn't had to go through all that. But I'm glad he turned to God and realized he really was loved. Thank God for that!

MR said...

Brandon,

Oh, I still cry at times when I think about it years later. I am so grateful that God let me see signs that he had genuinely repented and believed. I have a sense of peace, knowing that God helped him through death and into eternal life and the fulness of joy in God's presence.

It may sound strange to say this, but I am much less fearful of death seeing God help my brother the way He did.

Jeff S. said...

You have written an amazing story abotu yoru brother. Thank you for sharing it here.

RikFleming said...

MR,

It is stories such as these that give me greater zeal to fight the good fight and a desire to reach out to those who need to know that there is both forgiveness and freedom in Christ.

MR said...

Jeff,
Rik,

Thanks for letting me know how this affected you. My brother 's story seems to have more impact when I don't abbreviate it and when I tell it to guys with SSA.

I hope this motivates many others to reach out to those in need with the Good News of Jesus Christ!

A. Friend said...

Well let me tell you..God never abandons His own.
Look at how he brought your brother in from the cold.

Those MCM folks probably never looked back but God never took his eye off your brother and that is a message of hope and grace like no other!

Maybe one day you can tell the full story.

Did your brother ever find out about your struggle?

MR said...

A. Friend,

You said, "God never abandons His own. Look at how he brought your brother in from the cold."

Yes, that is one main pont I really want to make. God does not abandon us, even though we abandon Him. He goes after the one lost sheep, as in Jesus' parable. I know several guys who are straying from God, but I pray for them with hope, exactly because of that aspect of God's character!

You asked, "Did your brother ever find out about your struggle?". I never directly talked to him about my own struggle, but I believe he did know it intuitively. He and I used a lot of non-verbal communication, and he hinted that he knew.

AJ said...

MR I just read through all 5 parts. Oh man so sad and so powerful. I am so glad he turned to God though!

It is hard enough just me going through these confusing feelings and I actually thank God often that my brother does not have to.

Anyways wow thanks for sharing this it is not something I will soon forget.