Posted in family life, musings

brotherly harmony

I’ve had a lot of ideas for blog posts – and inspiration always seems to strike when there’s no chance to write, and then disappear when I actually sit down with a free moment!

Lately I’ve been thinking about Psalm 133, in the context of the affection between my own two boys.

How good and how pleasant it is,

When brothers dwell together as one!

Like fine oil on the head,

Running down upon the beard,

Upon the beard of Aaron,

Upon the collar of his robe.

Like the dew of Hermon coming down

Upon the mountains of Zion.

There the Lord has decreed a blessing,

Life for evermore!

The analogies amaze me, as I come to understand them more deeply (oil running down someone’s beard was admittedly a strange image before I learned more about it!). The harmony and unity of brothers (whether actual brothers or spiritual brothers) is compared to the oil of consecration used to sanctify and set apart the high priest, and to water in the desert. In other words, it isn’t a trivial or an inconsequential thing, but rather one of the sources of life and flourishing.

Earlier this evening I told Rondel that I was going to wash up the dishes before bed, and that he and Limerick could either play alone or play together while I did that. Instantly, he replied, “Play together!” and to make sure he realized I wasn’t going to be playing also I queried, “You want to play with Limerick?” Again instantly, he answered, “You do!” (meaning “I do!”). And off he went to find Limerick and play with him.

While the boys have the inevitable quarrels that any two people have, when different goals and ideas collide, they play together remarkably well (especially considering all the sibling horror stories I’ve read about). They would almost always rather find a way to work out their differences and come to a renewed unity than take the easy route of just playing individually, and I love that about them. I love how Rondel, after losing his cool with Limerick and yelling at him about something, will feel the tension in the air and seek to heal the relationship by giving Limerick a gentle hug and kiss. I love how Limerick will imitate Rondel’s play even when he doesn’t fully understand it, just so he can be a part of what Rondel is doing.

And my hope is that their growth in unity now, together, will prepare them for the difficulties of community throughout life and for holiness – that it will equip them to be a source of pure water in the dry and thirsty land they’re growing up to inherit, where relationships are utilitarian, selfish, and broken.

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