Do you have brothers or sisters? Or friends who are like brothers and sisters - they're your extended family? Then you know what a roller-coaster ride sibling relationships can be. Sometimes you're blessed with a relationship that remains warm and close your whole lives. What a gift that is! Sometimes siblings can grow closer over the years through family tragedies - my sisters and I have gown much closer through taking care of our mother with dementia.
Sometimes you argue and think "Can't live WITH 'em, can't live WITHOUT 'em." I remember two of my children who, when teens, had such an argument in the back hall that my daughter stormed out of the house and walked to a Mall several miles away in high heels. Today Miss Oil and Mr. Water have matured into adulthood and are great friends.
Sometimes walls between siblings grow up over the years and become so high that no one knows how to take them down - or they've forgotten why that wall went up in the first place. Or - and this is the saddest - siblings refuse to speak to each other. What a wound that is!
"Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain asked God when God asked where his brother Abel was. God knew Cain had murdered Abel and condemned Cain to become a restless wanderer on the earth. Walls between siblings, if not torn down, can become an emotional murder to siblings' souls - and to a parent's heart, wounded by his or her children's disunity.
Elsewhere in Scripture, Jesus expands our brother and sisterhood to include all God's children on earth. We all can ask ourselves which of our brothers and sisters we ignore who are in truth our responsibility. How much of our time, money, and energy goes to meeting and helping those who are different from us, or less fortunate than we are? Those whom God has named our siblings? If we take the time, go beyond our comfort zone, we'll discover we all have the same spiritual genes and DNA. And what a joy it is to discover new family!