He never wrote, much less called.
When I met him on MSN, our conversations lasted hours, three quarters of which was filled with silence. The other quarter consisted of me asking questions and him giving vague answers.
When we did talk on the phone, I had glorious monosyllabic responses.
It's been a long journey.
It started with the longing for a playmate, then the fervent wish that I never had one, but on the night I first left Singapore, I found myself wondering.
Would he forget me?
Would we become strangers upon my return?
Would he ever establish a relationship with God?
It goes without saying the amount of joy and relief to nkow that he has decided to make a stand to live for God and it honestly amazes me he got this far.
He was only 11 when our father passed away. The robbing away of his male role figure. The confusion, the agony and the numerous questions as to why our father? Why us? Why? Especially since my father lived as best as he could to please the God he loved.
I was afraid. We were all afraid. Would Shannon ever learn to love and trust God? Would he out of sheer spite transform into this uncontrollable rebellious teenager who hates God? After all, the odds were against him. It looked like God robbed his father away from him.
I left Singapore less than 2 years after our father passed away. And when I returned for the holidays, I realised that he had indeed changed. But amazingly, he rose above everything to become the sweetest, best brother one could ever have.
Of course, it was rather annoying to have your 14 year old brother wanting to keep tabs on you, refusing to let you leave the house until you gave him the low down as to who you were going out with, where you were going and what time you were going to be back. But it touched me to know how much he cared.
It was as if I never existed in his life when I was away, but when I came home, I saw a change in him. It was as if he took it upon himself to be the man of the house, excusing the occasional teenage moodswing. He stayed with the family, and best of all, he stayed with God.
It is easy to dismiss him as another lost teenager when you look at him. With his shocking mess of strange coloured hair, his love of so called worldly music and that swagger when he walks, who can ever guess that deep down, he has got a soul that is willing to listen. A heart that is so open to love?
Honestly, I cannot tell you what his relationship wit God is like. That is his story to tell. But I can say that it is not a frivolous decision on his part to commit his life to God.
The journey has just begun Shannon.
Jesus promised those who would follow him 3 things:
That they would be absurdly happy, entirely fearless and always in trouble.
Your decision will bring you on a path where challenges seem unending, where pain seem unbearable. But never forget this. You are now God's child, and if you hold fast to your faith, stay firm with what you believe, you will not only see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will get little safety lamps along the way.
My dear brother got dunked by the pastor on Saturday (May 29)...