Connecting with Scripture: Siblings

  • March 9, 2014

This fall, members and friends of WCUC gathered to connect to scripture through creative writing.  You can read more here and by picking up a packet of other pieces at church.

But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. Genesis 33:4

To our children, David and Carolyn:

Genesis is filled with sibling rivalry just as our house was for a time. It seemed to start when you, David, would not let me nurse your sister in peace. You will remember the times you tormented each other. Or perhaps you were trying to torment your father and me. The self-help book I bought back then to try to guide and reassure myself said that the worst thing we could do was take sides. That is apparently the aim of sibling rivalry—to get the parents to choose one over the other. And some of the fathers and mothers in Genesis did just that.

I am so grateful that you made peace and made it so beautifully. When you chose the same college, I protested, reminding you that your classmates would not look on your unfriendly competition fondly. You both registered surprise. Didn’t I realize that you liked each other now? Didn’t I know how close you were? I was still mired in the days of (s)he-hit-me-first.

Not much is worse than adult siblings who still bicker and compete. Your toasts to each other at your weddings remain among the best moments of my life. Hearing and feeling the love and esteem that you so clearly hold for each other warmed my soul. I treasure the comments of guests who marveled at the mixture of self-deprecation, humor, and love that characterized those toasts.

So when Esau ran to meet Jacob with such love, I thought of you two. Jacob didn’t need to be so afraid, at least if he had been in our family.