“Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.”
Over Christmas I headed back to the motherland for a few days of shooting quackers. I drove by farms that when I was a young man I hunted hard. Today unknown owners have posted them so that I can’t set foot on dirt where I once walked, but the memories of those places are as fresh now as they were a quarter of a century ago.
I remember weekends at our so-called deer camp on the Bayou DeView where the food was either undercooked or burned and the camper filthy, but it was heaven for a bunch of teen-age boys. I remember shooting my first mallard out of a pit with no top, no duck call, and no decs – just sheer luck. I also remember bundling up my little brother and carrying him on my back to the blind because he was too small to make the walk by himself.
Some of you know that I’m adopted. That’s never been a big deal to me – I’m grateful to God that He placed me with my mom and dad. However, the Lord is not only a gracious God, but He is also the Author of humor and He sprang a good one on my parents when at the ages of 40 and 42 they had their first natural child, my brother Michael.
There are 13 years between us so when Mike turned five, he started asking to go on some of my duck hunts. This presented a problem, not because I didn’t want him to go, but because a lot of the places I hunted were hard to get to. Michael was simply too little to wade to most of my spots. But instead of telling him he couldn’t go, I just threw him on my back and hauled him to the blind. I remember a couple of times hunched over with my 870 in one hand, my blind bag in the other and Michael’s little arms wrapped around my neck hanging on for dear life as I walked through thigh-deep water. He never was too heavy and thank God I was never too busy. Good memories.
Here is the point – it was my privilege and responsibility as his big brother to bring him along. He wanted to be with me but he was too young to do it on his own. If he was going to go it was going to cost me something because I was older and stronger. So it is with the church – we have the privilege and the responsibility to help those who may not be as far along in this journey we call the Christian life.
So instead of seeing it as a burden see it for what it is – a divine privilege. And yes I hunted with my brother while I was in Arkansas, but he’s big enough to walk to the blind now.
Blessings to you boys,