I have taken the opportunity before to let you know about my sister, Louann, but I don’t think I have shared with you much about my brother, Steve. He’s the oldest. Today is his birthday. For his sake, I won’t tell you how old he is. Like every good little sister, I will tell you, humbly, that I am the youngest!
My brother has many wonderful attributes. He has played the drums for as long as I can remember and he plays them well. He would share his Matchbox cars with me and draw roads for me to drive them on. Eventually, my parents got me some of my own. I still have a few of them in their original boxes. He used to do mechanical-style drawings (including the roads on butcher paper) and ended up as a Building Science major at Auburn and graduated there. In his career, he continues to draw those drawings and supervise building projects. It’s in his blood. Our dad used to do the same thing before he retired. Steve designed and built his family’s Victorian-style home across the river. He has a wonderful wife and help-meet, Donna. His oldest son is married to a sweet wife and they have two little boys so that makes my brother a grandfather, too! The next child, also a son, is also majoring in Building Science at Auburn. His next child, a daughter, is in David’s class at school. Their youngest of four, another daughter, is a freshman cheerleader in high school. Whew!
Did I tell you my brother is a Christian and that he loves the Lord and loves to teach the Word?
Did I tell you he’s one of the reasons I’m a believer today?
You see, as most little sisters are, I was nosy. Steve and Louann had a tighter relationship than Steve and I. He’s six years older. Anyway, he came home from some church event sometime and was hankering to share with Louann all that had happened. The main thing was that he had become a believer in Christ. They had gone outside to the patio and were sitting in chairs outside his bedroom window. Being nosy, I listened in. He shared this important bit of news with her and I was curious. I have no other word to describe what I was except “curious”.
What did all this mean? What was a believer? What was being saved about? Was he still going to drive me around in his Ford Pinto? Would he still listen to Bill Cosby’s comic routine on the record player? Would he pop in his 8-track cartridges and listen to Three Dog Night, Creedance Clearwater Revival, and The Carpenters? Were they now taboo?
I was not saved that afternoon, but my overhearing his Gospel presentation to my sister got me thinking. His conversation with her was a seed planting. Over the next months, others would come along and water as I continued to grow and as God would work in my heart tending it at church and waiting for the harvest time when I would truly believe what Steve had shared and receive it for myself. In God’s way, He would allow Louann to be with me on a youth retreat at Fernandina Beach, Florida, when I would finally answer His call to be His.
This story reminds me of the passage in 1 Corinthians 3:5-11 that says this, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
My brother, a builder, laid a foundation of Christ for me that day without even knowing it. He planted some seeds. In God’s goodness and faithfulness, He brought others along to do more of His work and at just the right time, it took!
I don’t take those people for granted. I am so thankful for every one of those who were faithful to share as God told them to do. They have had an eternal impact on me. The first one that stands out other than my parents happens to be my brother by blood and brother in Christ!