What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
- 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
I was rummaging through the Bible, looking for a verse about a brother and sister, I stumbled over this one in a chapter of 1 Corinthians that talks about marriage. And I think it hits the topic rather well.
My sister is in Mississippi, living in the house that the family moved into when I was two-years old. She and her husband park their cars in the garage that my Dad and I added to the house when I was sixteen. In between, we had lost the house when we lost the turkey farm. My Dad saved up enough money to buy the house back, along with a few acres of land. Years after my Dad’s parents had died, he decided to renovate his parent’s ancestral home next door and he and my mother moved there. That allowed my sister to move into the house he built soon after I was born, when my brother-in-law retired from the Air Force, actually a year before, since his last tour of duty was an isolated tour.
My sister and her husband remain there, having taught in the school system and retired, for her husband, the second time.
My sister was born a month before Pearl Harbor was bombed, and I came along eleven years later, after my Dad left the service during the Korean conflict. We have practically nothing in common other than a bloodline.
In one late spring and early summer, ten years ago, our brother, father, and mother all died. After the estate was settled 6-8 months later, my sister thought I might never visit. Of our family, we were all that we had left. A couple of years later, my son, in southern Mississippi at the time, invited us for the week of Thanksgiving. Since it was my sister’s 50th wedding anniversary, we swung by to partake in the festivities on our way home to Pennsylvania. My sister was so pleased. Since my son moved to northern Mississippi and then to the Memphis, TN area, I have made a point to visit my sister on each trip, or nearly each one.
And then the monthly phone calls began, but the timing has been haphazard.
She asks about my family, and I give her what I know about everyone, not much, only the intricate details. I ask about hers and she says, “Fine.” When I say something funny, she says that I am acting goofy again and my wife should try to stop that behavior.
But she is my sister. I love her. And neither of us are guaranteed to have a tomorrow. In a way, it is somewhat of a miracle that we can share a few moments, even if I only hear “Hello… How is the family? … Fine. … Tell your wife you are acting like an idiot again.” And then, almost as if it pains her, “Love you! BYE!”
It is great hearing her voice.
And we must always be prepared to share the Gospel. That is what Paul is talking about in the Scripture above, but sharing and showing love within the family is important too.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.