Brothers // 兄弟 [Re-post // 重登]

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由弟弟出生那天開始,我跟他仿佛結下了不解之怨.  A seed of resentment seems to have been planted between us.

誰說,兄弟如手足?

由弟弟出生那天開始,我跟他仿佛結下了不解之怨…
萬千寵愛在一身的他,贏盡了各親朋戚友的關注,當然,包括我的父母。
他是一顆開心果,逗得常為我生氣的母親笑逐顏開。
他是一顆幸運星,令過去沉迷於命理的父親,相信擁有物業和事業皆因幼子的誕生。
他是一頭野獸,把各人對我的關注也吞噬了…

我從不喜歡他。

最好的東西一定給予弟弟,即使那東西本是我的又如何?作為兄長應該忍讓。
兄弟吵架,永遠是哥哥不對,即使是弟弟挑起事端又如何?作為兄長應該忍讓。
「公平」,從來沒有出現於兄弟的關係當中…
「忍耐」和「遷就」,是父母眼中作為兄長必須具備的態度。對不起,學不會…

我不喜歡他,他不喜歡我。
某天開始,我們再不用你爭我奪,因為我們不想理會對方。
家中有玩具、有電視遊戲機,每次也只得一個玩家。
家中剛好有兩張沙發,讓我們分開就坐,不用親近、不用接觸。

轉眼十年,關係沒變,即使我已經是一個基督徒。
弟弟中學畢業後變得反叛,一星期最少有兩晚不知所終,電話永遠傳來一把溫柔的女聲:「你已被接駁到留言信箱…」
吵架,已經成為大家僅餘的溝通方式。
我討厭他,他討厭我。
從此,我們再不交談…

某一天,記不起從那裡聽來的一句話(說不定是我幻想出來的):「作為一個基督徒,無論你對其他人付出幾多愛心、幾多關懷、幾多忍耐,卻視家人如仇敵,連家人也不懂得去愛,這個「好見證」也是枉然。」
我開始為弟弟禱告,有生之年首次為他禱告。
神垂聽禱告,弟弟再不離家出走,而且找到一份自己喜歡的工作。
他對親人的怒目也慢慢放下來,開始願意跟家人談話,包括一個他討厭非常的人—-哥哥。
由於工作的關係,他常常會帶一些護膚品試用裝回家,而每次他也會留一點給我。想不到,上帝透過這些護膚品,去撫平我倆多年來的傷口。
我們再次交談起來,但多年來的積怨豈能一夕而散?所以,架著有色眼鏡望向對方的我倆,大多只是風花雪月。

神改變了他。
弟弟慢慢主動問候我的工作、我的生活、甚至我的教會生活。
不過,我還未能接受這個跟我南轅北轍的弟弟。
某一個早上,我們又為一宗小事而吵架,只是為了一條我們當日也不打算穿的褲子而又再吵架。
我們各不相讓,他說得聲嘶力竭,我罵得面紅耳赤。
我氣得把之前一晚他給我的護膚品全還給他,而且還隨手向他扔下二百元,大家不拖不欠!
他以通紅的雙眼看著我,是惱怒、是無奈、是嘆息,我不知道,只知道他沒有理會地上的二百元,轉身便步出家外,大力把門關上。
我懷著一股怒氣,走到離家不遠的巴士站,繼續上班去。
我坐在巴士一角,回憶起剛才的事情,不明白為什麼我倆要為這宗微不足道的事情爭吵起來,我開始後悔,後悔不能控制自己的情緒、後悔說出傷害別人的說話、後悔作出令人心痛的舉動…
此時,電話的短訊鈴聲響起,我看到這條短訊:「哥哥,對不起。」
我哭了…
淚水仿佛不能止住…

神改變了我。
自始,我承諾要好好照顧這個弟弟,更求神教導我如何把曾經是基督徒的他,帶回主的身邊。
之後,我放下過往的偏見,主動與他溝通,又嘗試向他分享上帝的福音。
神滿有大能。記得一次傷心失意的時候,弟弟竟然安慰我說:「哥,說不定這是上帝給你的試練吧!我會為你祈禱。」
從沒想過神的種子這麽快便在他的心裡萌芽,更意想不到神會藉著弟弟的說話提醒我要對祂常存信心。
我跟弟弟差不多每天晚上都會一同靈修、禱告,求神繼續帶領我們為祂作一個好榜樣,讓身邊還未接觸福音的親朋可以感受到上帝的大能和大愛。

誰說,兄弟如手足?
兄弟不是手足,是一根血脈、一根相連的血脈。

Who said that brothers are like partners?

Since the day my little brother was born, a seed of resentment seems to have been planted between us.
Everyone loved him, he had the family’s attention, and that of course includes my parents’.
He was so happy. He made my mother who was always mad at me laugh.
He was a lucky star. My superstitious father believed that his youngest son is the reason why he owns property and a career.
He was a monster, devouring everyone’s attention that was for me.
I never liked him.
The best things should be saved for the younger brother, even if it was mine to begin with. Older brothers should forbear.
When brothers argued, it was always the older one’s fault, even if the other started it. Older brothers should forbear.
‘Fairness’ was never a part of brotherhood.
‘Bearing’ and ‘accommodating’ is what parents think older brothers should be equipped with.  Sorry, just couldn’t pick up those skills…
I didn’t like him; he didn’t like me.
One day we stopped bickering, because we didn’t want to acknowledge each other anymore.
There were toys and video games at home, but only one player at a time.
There were two couches at home. That allowed us to sit apart from each other. We didn’t need to come in contact or be close with one another.

Nothing has changed over a decade, even though I became a Christian.
After high school my brother became rebellious.  At least two nights out of a week he would disappear.  A gentle voice always answered his calls, “You have reached the mail box of…”
Arguing was the only way we communicated.
I hated him; he hated me.
Since then, we stopped talking.

One day, I don’t remember where I heard this (perhaps I imagined it), “no matter how much love, care and tolerance you have for others, as a Christian, if you see your family as an enemy and don’t learn to love them, your ‘testimony’ really means nothing.”
I started praying for my brother.  It was the first time ever.
God heard my prayers, and my brother stopped running from home. He even found a job he liked.
He stopped looking at his family with fury, and start speaking with them, including someone he hated very much – his brother.
Because of his job, he always brought cosmetics testers home, and every time he had something for me.  I couldn’t believe that God used these testers to soothe our wounds.

We started talking again, but how can all these resentment over the years just disappear? We just kept judging each other as we tried to get along.

God changed him.
He took initiative to ask me about my work, life and even church life.
Yet I still couldn’t accept this brother who was so different to me.
One morning we argued over something small again. Over a pair of trousers neither of us were planning to wear anyway.
Neither of us backed down, he was screaming so loud and I was going red from all the yelling.
I was so angry I gave him back all the testers, along with two hundred dollars. We didn’t need to owe each other anything then.
He looked at me with red eyes, I didn’t know whether it was anger, helplessness, or lament; but he left and slammed the door without taking the money.
Filled with anger I walked to the bus stop nearby for work.
I sat in a corner of the bus, thinking about what had just happened.  I didn’t know why we had to argue over something so insignificant. I regretted that I couldn’t control my emotions, that I said hurtful things, that I do what hurts people…
Just then, I got an SMS that said, “I’m sorry, brother.”
I cried…
Tears just kept flowing…

God changed me.
Since then I promised that I’d take care of my little brother. I even asked God how to bring him who once was a Christian back to the Lord’s side.
I let go of my judgements, and reached out to him. I tried to share with him the good news of the Lord.
God is so great! I remember one time I was feeling so sad and drained, my brother came and comforted me, “Perhaps this is God’s test for you! I will pray for you.”
I never thought that God’s seed would sprout so quickly, nor did I think that God would speak to me, reminding me to trust in Him through my brother!
I get together with my brother almost every night to have quiet time, pray, and ask God to lead us to be good example for Him, that our unsaved friends and family may experience God’s greatness and love.

Who said that brothers are like partners?
Brothers aren’t partners; they share the same blood.

Image Credit: Flickr / cgbphotography

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