where is your brother?

Posted: August 9th, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 10 Comments »

“Where is…your brother?”Genesis 4:9

I want to know where your brother is. I want to know what you think happens when you leave the fallen behind. Do you think that you can sit in your churches and worship when there is an empty space where your friend used to sit? How can you sing songs and hear sermons about grace and forgiveness, the essence of the Gospel, and not connect that to the one who fell behind? How can you tell the people on the outside that something is true when you can’t make it true for one of your own?

Where is your brother?

There is a very real enemy who preys on the weak places of our lives when we least expect it. People don’t make damaging choices just to make damaging choices. They’re fighting wounds that never healed as children. They’re deceived into thinking that their healing is just around the corner. They’re shown a substitute for reality and they take it because it’s the first opportunity to escape the hurt that is breaking in on them.

They get on the wrong bus. They take the wrong pill. They drink from the wrong well. When they’re falling, they still think they can make it. He drives fast because he doesn’t think the crash will kill him. She gives herself away because she thinks it will deepen their love. People make poor choices because they don’t grasp the reality. They’re cashing in before the bidding is done.

The fantasy of completion is intoxicating. The intoxicated are the drunk. The confused. They need a sober friend to help them find their way home. They need someone to share the bitter tears of a little girl who gave herself away to the wrong boy. They need someone to tell them it’s going to be alright while they wait for the ambulance to come.

Why did you leave them?

There is a thief who is here to steal, to kill and to destroy. There are people who get caught in his lies, are being drug off to be destroyed. But, those who are marked for ‘LIFE’ will not die in the hands of the thief, but they will be tormented and lied to. He’s effectively convincing them that they are destroyed. We are not the judge of who is ‘marked for Life’. What are you doing leaving them? Where are your prisoners of war? Where is your brother?

“How should I know? Am I his babysitter?” -Genesis 4:9

Yes! Yes, you are his babysitter and his blood is your blood.

“What have you done! The voice of your brother’s blood is calling to me from the ground.”God, Genesis 4:10

We all do stupid things even though we know better. We all have our limits and those limits are set by our own mistakes. ‘I’ve done that, so I have grace for that.’ ‘I haven’t don’t that, so I have no tolerance for that.’ We set our own limits and then we mistakenly attribute those limits to God. As though we’re so close to Him, we can freely pound gavels and reject testimony based on our surefire understanding of the situation.

We’re one body. We are connected by one Source of Blood. When one falls, we all fall. It’s designed to hold us together.

Can you sit in your churches and ignore the empty spaces? Heartache and sentiment are your offering, but your offering is rejected.

Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.Matthew 5:24 AMP

If your relationships are incomplete, unreconciled and left for dead, then your offering is not fit. If you leave your brother behind, left for dead, then you will be called to questioning. You’re trying to offer worship, but where is your brother? You’re trying to feed the hungry, but where is your brother? You’re trying to share the Gospel, but where is your brother?

Where is your brother? The voice of his blood is calling from the ground.

What have you done?

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. -1 Corinthians 13:1-3

This isn’t the emotionalism of a detached greeting card religion. This is a message to those who are too busy feeding the call of the social gospel to stop all their religious projects and self-indulgent plans to stand by the drunk kid wrapped around the light post waiting for the ambulance to get there. This is the ‘good Samaritan’ who dropped his agenda to carry the wounded to safety. This is the church leader who cries with the girl in her youth group who just got a pink positive on her pregnancy test.

Love doesn’t give up on someone. Love doesn’t keep score of sins. Love isn’t happy when the person suffers as a result of their bad choices. Love doesn’t assume the worst. Love puts up with anything. Love doesn’t look backward, but keeps pushing forward.

Whatever you’re doing that doesn’t include going back and walking at the slow pace of a fallen brother is nothing but noise and distraction. It’s not fit as long as his blood is calling out from the ground. You are trapped in relationship of love. You need to serve as much as he needs to be served. Wash his dirty feet. Help him carry his mess.

‘Carry each other’s burdens….’ -Galatians 6:2

Judgement says: You did this. Grace says: It could have been me. I did this.

“Love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I’ll be my brother’s keeper
So the whole world will know we’re not alone”


10 Comments on “where is your brother?”

  1. 1 Melissa said at 7:15 pm on August 9th, 2010:

    strong words.

    true words.

    convicting words.

    i am thankful for those that didn't leave me behind…rather than casting judgement, they cast a net for me to collapse in…and that presence was redeeming…

  2. 2 Laura said at 1:53 am on August 10th, 2010:

    There is someone who has been on my mind for a while now. They left our church and I've heard bits and pieces of the answer to 'why?'. But I've always felt that the 'why?' didn't matter, what mattered was that she (they) left. Were they pushed? Did she get lost and can't find her way? Does she want to be gone? We weren't close, but I knew her and notice the 'hole'. I'm crying. I'm convicted and inspired at the same time. I know what to do.

    Thank you!!!

  3. 3 Elizabeth said at 1:59 am on August 10th, 2010:

    Powerful and something I'll be thinking about today. Thank you for sharing.

  4. 4 Chele said at 2:12 am on August 10th, 2010:

    Oh this is just beautiful! Thank you so much for writing this. It is something that weighs heavy on my heart. I don't understand why some churches worry more about the new Christians coming in and forget about their brothers and sisters that are falling behind. Oh this hits home hard. I needed it but so do a few folks I'm going to share this with! 🙂

  5. 5 Crying said at 2:32 am on August 10th, 2010:

    I used to have a church that I loved. I was accepted and accepting. I work in different areas and was surrounded by a community that I could learn from and teach.

    I don't know what went wrong with me. I don't know why it was so easy for me to fall.

    I never saw a problem with grace or forgiveness at my church. Not until I needed it. I heard things about myself through the grapevine that were nowhere near the truth. People were actually making guesses at my thoughts and passing them off as facts. My sin was bad enough, but I was becoming more and more of monster over night!

    The few people who would sent me cards or emails really had to step out of their comfort zone. They risked getting thrown in the same lot as me every time they did it.

    Even if the pastor himself came and asked me to come back, I wouldn't. Not because I don't respect him, love God, want to be in a community, but because there are too many people who won't let me worship because of what I've become to them. I don't want to be stared at, whispered about. I don't want them to bring up my worst over and over again. I don't want to be a distraction for THEM.

    I won't go back to that. It's not how it's supposed to be and I don't want the facade when I know I can have the real thing. I'm closer to God now than I was within the system.

    Serena, I come to your blog every time you put something up. You're trying to change the very thing that is keeping me out. You use scripture to challenge me and comfort me. I know you're writing it or saying it, but I hear and sense God speaking to me through it.

    I wish every person I knew would read this. Keep it up!

  6. 6 Serena Woods said at 4:33 am on August 10th, 2010:

    Thanks, everyone, for letting me know it hit a nerve. 🙂

  7. 7 julie said at 7:47 am on August 10th, 2010:

    Serena…beautiful, inspiring…i'm passing it on… 🙂

  8. 8 Jodie said at 4:04 am on August 11th, 2010:

    I'm so glad you wrote this. I've received so much grace in my life – I've made so many stupid choices…. and yet if I'm honest, I still judge more often than love. It's usually an issue of confusion – and an issue of boundaries. Life can be difficult to navigate – and I don't always know the right response. I find too, that I'm harder on "my people" – like my family, than I am with "strangers" or friends who I feel less need to protect myself from. So anyway, this has just got me thinking. I know my actions are not always right – and I know my motives are not always pure… sometimes I do the wrong thing because I don't know what the right thing is. I suppose there's grace for that too.

  9. 9 Cindy said at 4:06 am on August 12th, 2010:

    I'm still "that girl" in so many people's minds. I was starving for grace. Thank God for the two friends and 3 family members that never gave up praying, caring, reaching out.

  10. 10 Love Letters to Jesu said at 3:24 pm on August 14th, 2010:

    This is hard for me because my brother is in prison, for life, suffering with Schizophrenia and denying God exists.

    I pray for him, send him reminders of how much God loves him still… yet, he continues to deny God.

    How much is his mental illness, how much is prison, how much is really his heart talking? I doubt I'll ever know.

    But I continue to pray. And hope. And have faith that my love for Jesus will flood over his heart and mind one day and bring him back to God before it's too late.


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