After Adam and Eve, the Holy Bible talks about two more people in Genesis. These people are their children, Cain and Abel, and their tragic tale is known to everybody. Cain, the older brother, is a farmer who tills the land. Meanwhile, the younger brother, Abel, is a shepherd who guards his flock. Both of them were asked by God to offer the fruits of their labor to him. However, God only accepted Abel’s tribute and not Cain’s. This led to jealousy in Cain’s heart, and because of this, he did the unthinkable. He took stone to Abel’s head and killed his brother. Upon the deed being done, God asked Cain where his brother was, to which he replied, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” He was not, and ironically, those words he uttered came to mean that we are indeed responsible for the welfare of our brothers.
“Am I my Brother’s Keeper?” these words spoken by Cain before his banishment and punishment by God are now one of our defining missions on earth. God created us in His likeness, and despite our imperfections, he still loves us. The selfless love on God Cares book by Kwaku Mensah is precisely this kind of love. In that book that talks about God’s love, we should ask ourselves, “Are we deserving of God’s love?” “How can we honor that love?” and “How do we become our brother’s keeper?” Isn’t it ironic that the Father Himself does not discriminate between the sinners and the saint, and yet we, His children, not only are selective of who we love, but we even choose to deprive others of this love? Or is it exactly our being human that limits our ability to love each and everyone like the Holy Father does?
Being Our Brother’s Keeper
It would be a shame if we let our limitations stop us from fulfilling God’s given mission to us. It might be a worthwhile endeavor, after all, to try our hand at fulfilling this specific mission. There should be a reason why God bestowed this mission to us. But how do we start?
Respecting the existence of one another might be an excellent place to start in fulfilling this mission. With respect, we begin to create an understanding with one another. Sure, we may be separated by many things; race, creed, faith, and beliefs, but it does not mean that we cannot get along. By respecting one another, we allow an avenue for a conversation. Once we follow through with this conversation, we begin to see that despite these differences, we are more likely the same. We start to learn that we all share the same human experience. We can finally understand the true meaning of “being created in the image and likeness of God.”
Love will grow once we begin to understand and respect each other. Of course, this does not mean romantic love but brotherly love. This is the kind of love where we preserve and grow the respect that we have for each other. This is also about honoring one another and not breaking that mutual respect. Thus, we must devote ourselves to the honor of care of our brothers. That means being able to talk to one another and understanding where each of us is coming from. Being able to share stories, jokes, or even a meal with one another is also a way to show this brotherly (or sisterly) love.
This love, however, must come from the right place. It must be genuine; otherwise, it will bear no fruit. If this love does not have a strong enough foundation, it will crumble at the slightest squabbles. As such, this love must be genuine, humble, and sympathetic.
To serve your brother is to be there for them whenever they need you. To maintain and fulfill our oath of being our brother’s keepers, we must constantly look out for each other. This is already covered in love; thus, love and service are intrinsically linked with each other. After all, we cannot maintain our love if we cannot help each other. We also cannot openly and genuinely serve if our service does not come from a place of love.
Being our brother’s keeper is one way of honoring God and showing our gratitude for the love he has granted us. We must remember that God created us in His image and likeness. We must also remember that inside us dwells the Holy Spirit. As such, being our brother’s keeper is also being in service to God and glorifying him.