Monday, April 27, 2009
A Deep Thinker
My brother, Dan has always been a deep thinker. Frequently when were young, I would find him sitting on the front porch or stretched out on the bed in his room just staring into the distance. I would ask what he was doing and he would always say, "I'm thinking.". I never asked what he was thinking about--I knew he'd tell me sooner or later.
Dan was the third of the four boys. From his birth he was the happiest baby I had ever seen. You could just look at him and he would smile. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. He would lay in his crib or sit in his high chair and just smile at everyone. Mother had his picture made at age six months. It was so cute! He had a blanket laid across his little head and he was laughing so hard, a little drool came out the corner of his mouth. A minister friend of my father's said the picture belonged on the cover of a magazine. He was, indeed, a happy baby.
At age four, Dan shocked us all by reading the funny papers. He was laying on his belly on the kitchen floor one Sunday morning while Mother was fixing breakfast. She heard him laughing and, turning around to face him, asked him what he was laughing about. He told Mother he was laughing at what he was reading in the funny papers. Mother asked him to read and he took off reading like he had been doing so for years. We were all shocked!!!!! He must have been asked to read five or six times that morning. My oldest brother, Don, just shook his head in disbelief. Daddy, of course, was so proud that he had Dan read for one of our visiting ministers. Our friend was so touched that he later sent Dan a beautiful Bible. Dan still uses that Bible to this day. He told me just a few months ago that the Lord taught Him to read. He said that on that day, the words just opened up to him and he began to read everything he could. He still does.
As I watched Dan grow older and work his way through life, I saw him think his way through a lot of situations that I would never have come through myself. He would frequently ponder and meditate on a solution for his problem and then pursue a course of action. He is a quiet man (he describes himself as an introvert) who lives
his life based on the Word of God. He is my teacher, my mentor, my friend. He is a man I truly admire.
I know without a doubt that the hardest thing Dan has ever faced was the loss of our brothers. He was seventeen when our oldest brother, Don, passed away. I know he grieved but I don't know much about how he worked through it at that time. However, when our second brother, David, passed away, I remember well watching Dan lay his head on the forehead of our brother and weep. He didn't cry long, that's not his way, but just seeing those tears let me know how broken his heart really was. Dan and I both spoke at David's funeral and, as difficult as it was, I know it helped us both in our healing.
Dan has always been a thinker, a writer, and one of the finest teachers I have ever known. I am so very proud of him. He has insights into the Word of God that I have failed, at times, to recognize. In the lowest point of my life, when a painful divorce had brought me low and my heart was breaking, Dan came to me and comforted me with the following words: "I don't think you are missing your spouse as much as you are missing having someone in your life. Just remember, Sis, peace is a choice. You can choose to suffer by dwelling on your pain or you can choose peace and leave the suffering to God. It won't go away overnight, but accepting God's peace will make it bearable.". Like a breath of fresh air, his words lifted me above what I was enduring. Dan was right, it didn't go away overnight. I had to make the choice for peace more than once, but, he was also right when he said God would make it bearable. And He did.
Today, Dan continues to think and write, although now he incorporates the events of our day with the prophetic Word of God. He writes a political commentary (www.usavisionary.com) and encourages people to be mindful of what God is doing in the world today. He remains a source of inspiration to me and is a constant presence through his teaching, his encouragement, and his love. I never grow weary of hearing him speak--I never tire of listening to his ideas--I am always thrilled by his presence. He challenges me, through his own life, to be a better person. He makes me want to be all that God wants me to be.
Maybe someday he will find me sitting on the porch, staring off into the distance.
When he askes me what I'm doing, I'll just say, "I'm thinking.". I think he would like that. I think he would like that a lot.