Monday, March 26, 2012

Liam's Message

Liam & Gabe in 2012
I've been thinking about brothers and what they mean to one another.

Brother is a term of family; connection of male siblings and then there's the connection of non-familial spiritual relationship.  Either way, brothers share a unique sense of connection.   It's important to also note that a spiritual relationship often exists for sibling brothers even though some may not be willing to admit it.

Brothers are special to one another and to their families.  Brothers bond with one another and they act as a bonding agent for families in time of crisis or chaos. Spiritual brothers of the non-familial type are also special to one another because of the mutually shared male bond.  Non-sibling males brotherly bond as well when thrust into chaotic or crisis situations, i.e. soldiers serving together in time of war. 

This past Tuesday my wife gave birth to our second son; a sibling brother named Liam.  Our son, Gabe becomes a big brother at 18 months of age.  In thinking about the special bond that they share I've been considering how unique the relationship between brothers truly is and how deep the bonds of brotherly love go.

Derek & Geoff in 1957
Last week, a good friend of mine's sibling brother died after a heroic battle with cancer.  They are now separated from one another, but I wonder, might they now be more spiritually related or sacredly connected to one another than at any other time during their earthly lives?  The 'connection', the brotherly love we share together here in this world for one another insures that our bonds are forever in place in the spiritual world.   

This past summer, one of my brothers and I had an unfortunate falling out in front of family.  We didn't speak to one another for several weeks.  Now, let me just say, that brother and I have gone several weeks at a time not speaking to one another before, but not because of a falling out.  We were both hurt and not sure how to repair things.  A disagreement between brothers can make days seem like months or even longer.

My spiritual brother and friend, Derek who recently lost his sibling Geoff, pointed out that those of us who have brothers should never take for granted the time we have to spend with our siblings.  Be there for one another and share in each others lives; bond and reflect now on the importance of the sacred connection that the Creator has blessed us with.

The Gryder Boys in 2008
My brother and I patched things up and we even spent a day on the golf course together in order to sort things out and enjoy each other just as brothers.  I will always treasure that day on the links with him.

At the birth of my son Liam this past Tuesday, my first thoughts were of Gabe and how blessed he now is to have that sacred connection of a brother.  I prayerfully thought of my Derek and his passed on brother Geoff and finally I thought of my own brothers, my father and his brother and how blessed we all have been through our lives to have one another.

Life changed this past Tuesday afternoon for my son Gabe.  He gained a little brother, a friend and sacred connection that I, as a father and brother, will share with them both.  I pray their connection will be built on the foundation that I can provide through the sharing of stories about their uncles and those other sacred brotherly ties.  Perhaps this is Liam's message to me. 


Welcome Liam Hartley Gryder! Oh yes...he too was born on a Tuesday like his older brother.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Waggie, ride, outside?"

Earlier this week, my 17 month old son Gabe uttered his first real sentence!  It was actually a question…at about 230 in the morning!!!   He is still getting used to his new room at the end of the hall and on occasion been waking up with a short cry.  On this occasion he was a bit more fussy and so, I gave in and went down to his room and brought him back to sit with mom and I until he quieted down.  I know, I know…wrong move, but if I hadn’t, Kim and I would have missed a special moment.  Very quietly, in the darkened room he gazed toward the window and said,

“Waggie, ride, outside?”

For those of you needing translation, that request was, ‘Wagon ride outside?’  Kim and I smiled at this very sincere request and gently and quietly explained that a wagon ride was not in the cards at that hour of the morning.

If you’re a regular follower, you know that I like to share positive stories of faith, family and fellowship.  This week I’ve been a little more diligent about following my friend and mentor, Derek Maul’s blog, (The Life-Charged Life). 
This week he’s written about connecting with people everywhere and what the common thread is that holds us together; he’s explored communication and listening, especially at the close family level; he wrote too of the bonus of February 29 being an extra day to do some intentional living like you mean it.  His final post of the included this quote from his latest book, 'Reaching Toward Easter', 

“This journey together through Lent serves as an invitation to align the heart of our spiritual nature with the regenerative heart of God, sustainer and deliverer, to set our intention toward life and to align ourselves with the light…”

Gabe’s words, Derek’s writings, my recent speaking travels and the soon to come birth of Gabe’s lil’ brother, Liam have all been on my mind.  

A child's simple request-
It is truly astounding to see my son grow and begin his journey of life.  
I wonder why as adults we so easily lose sight of the excitement, the beauty, the inner growth and importance of our individual journey's.  Why do adults so easily cast people aside; not communicating, not listening or in all too many cases, not willing to listen?  Why do adults not seek the common threads of family and community that ultimately can so easily unite us all? 

An adult's complicated request-
It is truly astounding to see an adult stop growing and stagnate their lives.  
I wonder why as children we can so easily be excited by the beauty, the inner growth and importance of our individual journey's.  Why do children so easily embrace people; communicate and listen in truly amazing ways?  Why do children understand the common threads of family that ultimately so easily unite us all?  

Just interesting to look at it from those two perspectives of our lives and contemplate how at both times, all the time, we are in the arms of the sustainer and deliverer, setting our intentions toward the journey of life and aligning ourselves with the light.  How come we don't recognize it?

As we all reach toward Easter may we all recognize that we can reach out, even in the darkest hours with the simplest or the most difficult of requests.  Our spiritual parent is always there for all of us.   

I value the middle of the night moments with Gabe.

I value the middle of the night moments with God.

“Waggie, ride, outside?”
LET'S GO!!! 
"What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." -John 1: 4-5.


PS- Thanks Woodstock (VA) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for making me feel so at home on Sunday, Feb 26th.  I look forward to visiting with you again in the future.