I remember the night quite well that I first really felt a real love for my twin brother. The night in 1984 began like any other. We were attending college at Western Michigan University and together we had rented an apartment behind the K-Mart. I don’t remember exactly what time he left, but at some point around dinner time he went over to the one of the stores on the main street to do some shopping. I was sitting in my bedroom doing homework when he burst in the door. He was bleeding, holding a cloth on his head and was very emotional, saying something like “I’m hurt, help me, I cut my head.” A million thoughts ran through my head trying to determine who had hurt him. I ran over there to him and quickly decided that we needed to get to the emergency clinic immediately.
A sense of deep sadness and compassion came over me, a protectiveness that I have never felt enveloped my body and I began to grieve deeply for my brother. After I gained a bit of composure I quickly called my parents and told them that we were heading to the emergency room in a city nearby to them. I distinctly remember picking up a sense that this was kind of a bother, an inconvenience for them. Maybe such things became trivial to parents, they had their own set of problems. This was shocking to me, since I was grieving over this incident and would do anything to help my brother. The thought of prayer never even entered my mind. During the drive to the hospital, I got the remaining details on what had happened. He had been walking out of the store through the automatic door when it paused suddenly, causing him to ram his head into it. During this time the sense of compassion that I had for him began to get even stronger.
Many times, I have heard of criminals that were shot while fleeing the scene of a robbery, and after escaping, apparently become so afraid of death that they sought a hospital quite quickly even though they were almost certain to be confiscated there. I have watched movies in which similar things happened, but these failed to produce any of the feelings of deep sadness that I experienced when my brother was hurt. Somehow I always felt that while I was watching these movie scenes that such feelings should occur, but either due to the way in which the event was portrayed or the lack of closeness to the character, I never experienced any of the feelings I felt during my drive to the hospital with my brother.
As a sat here this evening contemplating this event, I wondered why my soul had been dead for so many years. Reflecting upon events in my childhood produced the answer, but as an adult I knew better than to dwell upon the happenings of years gone by. I remember the vast changes that have occurred since my brother and I became Christians. I have a powerful sense of peace and hope that was absent during this event. Without Jesus, we were actually no better than the man that robbed the bank. We were hopeless to save ourselves. Years of faithful attendance of mass at our local Roman Catholic Church didn’t do it. Calling an ambulance to take us to the hospital would not have solved our problem, like it did for the bank robber. No, this was a problem that only God could solve. Both of us were hopeless without the actions of God through his Holy Spirit to call us to repent of our sins and trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. For this, we will be eternally grateful.