Brother – (NEEDTOBREATHE & Gavin DeGraw)
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
– Maya Angelou
I remember how I kept looking down at my phone and then back out the front door to my building…The seconds started to feel like minutes and the minutes started to feel like hours…
I kept pacing back and forth but I just knew it was going to be ok. I had been waiting on this for a week now, and it was long overdue…but he was my best friend, he was like a brother to me…and I just knew he would come through…and then the phone rang one more time and that is when I finally knew the answer I had been waiting to hear for so long…
This story in a way made me think of growing up and how I always trusted my own brother no matter what. If he told me something I absolutely believed every word of it. We were pretty much inseparable, but even when we would get in a big brother – little brother fight, or when he would say something that hurt me, at the end of the day…he was my brother and nothing will ever change that. Today people always say we look just alike, and sometimes people even call me by his name and now I don’t even correct them anymore. When people ask me about him I always say, “Well he’s basically me, but just the smarter and better version.” He is the version of me that I always wanted to be…and I am so proud to be his younger brother. I love him very much.
But back to my phone call…this was a few years ago after I had finally cleaned up and I was starting out working a new job. I wasn’t making a whole lot of money but I was certainly thankful to have a job. Financially, I had to be very careful about what I did with my money and how I spent it. One of my best friends at the time came to me one day and needed to borrow some money… Now I didn’t have much and the amount he needed was a fairly large amount but honestly I didn’t think twice about it because he was my friend and I knew if I needed it that he would also do the exact same for me. So I loaned it out…even when I could not really afford to, but finally the week I needed to be paid back came around. But the week didn’t go the way I thought. Slowly things started off really strange and it seemed like something kept coming up, one thing after another and he couldn’t pay me back on time. At first I was ok with it but then I started to sweat the money because I needed it back…Well finally I get him on the phone and he is driving in his car, on his way to pay me back…but minutes go by…and they turn to hours…and that’s when I finally got that phone call. I was hoping he was right outside about to pull up, but instead, he says, “Adrian…I’m not coming to see you man. I don’t have your money…it’s all gone. I spent it all…I’m really sorry man…” And after he said that I took a deep breath…he told me what was going on, he told me everything…and that’s when the clock started…and I knew I had a choice to make…
Do you believe in the seconds? The seconds that it takes for you to decide whether or not you will forgive someone? How long will it take you to give someone a second chance? Do you really believe in those people that may have let you down? Are they worth it? Has anyone ever given you a second chance? Was that worth it?
“Brother let me be your shelter, never leave you all alone, I can be the one you call when you’re low.
Brother let me be your fortress, when the night winds are driving on, and be the one to light the way, bring you home…”
NEEDTOBREATHE is a band from Seneca, South Carolina, made up of brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart, and members Seth Bolt and Josh Lovelace. Bear and Bo started out by playing at coffee houses at Furman University, where Bear was a wide receiver for the Furman football team. He actually won the 2002 Banks McFadden trophy for South Carolina football player of the year. Just a few years later the band was signed to a major record label. When asked about the single Brother, they said, “As brothers in a band we found ourselves in a dark place, fighting more than we were making music…and it took us a long time to learn a lesson.” Gavin DeGraw also replied about the song collaboration saying, “Your brother is your best friend and greatest competitor, he gives you motivation, challenges you…they don’t challenge you to make things difficult for you, they challenge you because they know you’re capable of certain things, you’re capable to fulfill your potential…”
Romans 12:10 | Love each other with brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
As a designer I always work on mac computers and with the latest upgrade to my desktop I now have “Siri” automatically added to my computer. Jokingly, I asked Siri if she could tell me about second chances before I started to write about this story and at the top of her list in the results tab was a quote that said “God is not only the God of second chances; He is the God of another chance.”
Once I had finally heard the real truth from my friend, and what he was going through, somehow the money just didn’t seem so important. I was holding my phone to my ear and the clock started…the seconds start going…the opportunity to forgive and offer a second chance were going by even faster and I had to make a choice…so I decided to forgive him on the spot. Now the version of myself 6 years ago would have handled this differently…but I knew what he was going through…I knew exactly what addiction felt like. A lot of people now tell me I trust people too much, they tell me that it is a downfall of mine…but I don’t care because I knew what it felt like to lie to people and to hurt others even when you didn’t want to. I knew when I was down that road how badly I needed someone to help me get on a new road. I told him on the phone how upset and hurt I was and how I had considered him a brother to me…but I also let him know that no matter what there was no way I was gonna turn my back on him. There was no way I was not going to help him fight this. Because I believed in him…and I believed he deserved another chance and I believed he had a purpose. It wasn’t because I thought I was any better than him because I wasn’t. It was because I loved him like a brother, and that’s how we should love everyone…just like the verse above from Romans 12:10. He wasn’t a bad person…he just made a bad choice and I wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone…
I personally believe God gave him another chance…the same way I was given another chance years before. And now?… He is doing awesome! And I look up to him very much…and to this day we still remain best friends…we still hang out when we can and we talk to each other just about every other week. I would still do anything for him and I know he would do the same for me. Don’t ever give up…on yourself…or on anyone else. God will put people in our lives for a reason so we should use one of the greatest gifts we have, which is to forgive…Take care of each other, and forgive one another. And just remember the seconds…the seconds it takes to forgive someone. Don’t let them add up to minutes…because minutes add up to hours, and the hours can add up to days… Sometimes you may be the only chance that someone has…so forgive somebody today and you will gain a brother for tomorrow…shelter each other with = LOVE. Nothing is impossible…
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
(Listen below to Brother by NEEDTOBREATHE & Gavin DeGraw)
(Feature post photo by Jack Lyons)
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