In Which I Write About My Little Brother On His Birthday So He Will Stop Complaining That I Never Blog About Him

As I child, I dreaded Communion.  Not on any serious, theological grounds, but because my little brother Reed sat next to me and cracked me up.  EVERY TIME.  And the only thing worse than cracking up during church was cracking up during Communion during church.  I would feel my dad’s hand on my shoulder get tighter and tighter and…ouch, Dad! 

And so I dreaded Communion.

But Reed’s greatest Communion performance came when I was probably about 10, and he was 8.  The plate was passed, and I was already biting my lip so hard it nearly bled.  Don’t look at Reed, don’t look at Reed, I coached myself.  Suddenly, I felt a nudge in my left elbow.  Foolishly, I turned to look.  HE HAD SPILLED GRAPE JUICE DOWN THE FRONT OF HIS WHITE DRESS SHIRT.  I laughed out loud, very hard, and so did he.  And, as I recall, that little episode bought us not just a shoulder squeeze from Dad, but a Trip Out To The Foyer.

The delightful irony of this story is that my brother now serves Communion.  He is a dignified and thoughtful and profound pastor of a church in Missouri.  He is a gentle and attentive husband and father (who better not, by the way, ever give his daughters a hard time for laughing in church).  And he is a dear and genuine friend to me, one of the best I’ve ever had.  Not bad for someone who answered the phone for an entire year in ridiculous voices to humiliate his big sister in front of her friends (a little fact I share with all of Bloggityville only because I have been waiting twenty years to get him back). 

Happy birthday, little brother! 

16 thoughts on “In Which I Write About My Little Brother On His Birthday So He Will Stop Complaining That I Never Blog About Him

  1. Jenny says:

    oh, that’s so sweet! And what a crack-up story-I’ll be thinking of it next week during communion.
    Please pass along ‘Happy Birthday’ to your little brother.
    Jenny in CA

  2. NewDotMom says:

    Awww! I have a little brother who started out as a goofball, and is now one of my best friends, too. Isn’t it a blessing to have this unique relationship? For a while when we were in college, he was my voice of the male perspective – and now that I’m married and he’s searching :0), I’m his voice of the female perspective. I guess God knew what He was doing, giving us our little brothers, huh?

  3. Rachel Anne says:

    One of my favorite Communion memories is seeing two little boys in front of me turn to each other and do “Cheers!” (clinking their little Communion cups together) and then proceed to do a bottoms up slurp like they were drinking out of shot glasses. Now THAT was hard to keep from laughing over!

  4. Leslie says:

    My sister STILL makes me laugh in church and I am not ten, and my mom is the one that gives us the look. Now that she is married to a pastor we are not in church together that often, but every Christmas Eve service something cracks us up.

  5. Ann Kroeker says:

    I still worry about spilling the juice!
    At one church we visited, they had us go up front and dip the matzo cracker into a goblet of juice held by an elder. Instead of the liquid being soaking up like it would have been in a morsel of bread, a good portion of the juice just slipped off of the cracker. I couldn’t figure out what people were doing to deal with the drippage. They weren’t eating the cracker on the spot, so I held my palm flat underneath to catch the drips so as not to stain the carpet as I made my way back to my seat. Then I sat down and was afraid I’d stain my slacks, and then I “partook” and realized my hand was stained and I had to deal with a few remaining droplets…and all I really wanted to do was focus on the body and blood of my Lord. Instead, I was searching for a Kleenex, baby wipe–anything other than a nice white dress shirt like your brother’s–to sop it up.
    But the main thing I should say is: happy birthday to your brother.
    What a fine big sister he has!

  6. KC says:

    Happy birthday to your brother.. this just had me LOL so much and brought back my own little brother and communion story. We were at church and we had just drank the juice out of the little cups and there was my brother with his toung licking every last drop out of the little plastic cup.. He was holding his head up in the air, as to have it all drip out with his touge stuck into the cup. I remember my dad smacking his leg to get his attention and said “what are you doing” and my brother looks over and said “the pastor said drink ye all of it” I started LOL and then got that look form both my mom and dad. but like you i couldn’t help myself.

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