At the airport check-in, they felt it looked too much like a weapon - the plastic, battery-powered flashlight-looking toy from Disneyland Paris that did not fit into our luggage.
Not one to fuss about such stuff, I handed it over to my brother without hesitation and he said he’d find a way to ship it to us, although he wasn’t sure how. I am still shaking my head on that one, but children’s toys can be adapted, I’m sure. I mean, I’ve watched MacGyver, Jason Bourne and Michael Westin with avid interest, despite my ambivalence towards science in general. Men of science fascinate me even when they are make-believe and on screen.
My son continues to ask about his light saber so I thought, “This is silly! I’ll just buy him another one to put under the tree!” Problem solved.
In the meantime, I e-mailed my brother regarding the toy. He said I could probably find a replacement in a toy store. Frankly, this time of year, I have no interest in going near a toy store.
Online, however the assortment was amazing. I found dual sabers, blue ones, green ones, white ones, Obi’s, Luke’s, and a multitude more from which to choose! Decisions, decisions!
I informed my brother who promptly thanked me for his new acquisition and offered to let Ben use “his” next time he came to visit - maybe. I e-mailed back: “I knew it!” I mean, the way he postured with the weapon as we stood waiting for them to finish a ride, feet shoulder-width apart, both hands on the handle and the “zhj, zhj” sounds he made as he waved it steadily back and forth!
And he said he was just showing Ben how to use it!
Being nice, however, I added a smiley face and told him to play responsibly. I didn’t want him to cut the couch in half or anything!
He countered with “You’re not the boss of me!”
So, I responded with some pretty harsh stuff.
“I’m telling!” And please forgive me for this, but I did call him “Mr. Meanie-head!”
That was pretty harsh language when I was a child. I called my second-oldest brother that once and got into some major trouble for my bad language. The disrespect issue might have been mentioned, too.
To this day, I hesitate to call anyone a, well, you know. It is just not done.
We tend to think of God as being “out there” somewhere in the great beyond and not really having a relationship with each of us. That is simply wrong. Each one of us can have that up close and personal relationship with our creator. He can be our confidante, our friend, our sustainer, our daddy, a husband to the widows, a father to the fatherless, our protection, and so much more.
When we look back over our life, He has been standing beside us, behind us, holding us up, pushing us forward, and protecting us from harm’s reach.
I’m thinking of how my brother has been in my life through the years in so many capacities. He has been my friend, my partner in adventure. He’s accepted me and held me up in the difficult times.
He points me to look to the positive in all things when life overwhelms and we can both play and be serious.
Maybe it is because we hardly see each other? Nah. Even in younger years he proved to be a man of integrity and I am thankful for him in my life.
Then I came across this: “If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” (Psalm 94:17-19)
And while my brother may be far away, we stay in touch, cheer each other, and hold each other up, just as God is as near as I let Him be. Thank You, Lord, for being here for me and placing the right people near me for the right times. In Your season may we all draw nearer to You and pour out Your love to others.
You are the reason for the season.