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Posted Friday, January 13, 2012, at 8:41 PM


By Rayla Stewart Hogue

Special to the Daily Statesman

The look on their faces was dark and angry. They were talking so fast she could barely follow the conversation. Their frustration was evident in their bodies as they paced back and forth muttering to each other as well as their selves.

"Stupid tuxes . . . choke you . . . restrict you . . . why can't I just wear my jeans . . . don't fit right . . . ."

She had been about to put on her dress when a knock at the door informed her "the guys" were in rebellion and the tuxes had not been hemmed properly--the pants didn't fit. Could she do something? The guys were building up to an explosion.

She put her jeans back on and quietly walked to the other side of the church. The wedding would be starting in under an hour. Things had been bumpy throughout the day with last minute glitches. The tux pants had been shipped late . . . it really wasn't a big deal to contact the shop and have a seamstress fix the hem . . . the shop was only a block away.

She knocked on the door.

"WHAT . . . oh, uh bro, it's your bride to be . . . are you supposed to be here . . . I thought . . . ."

"I hear there is a problem with the pants. Get over there and stand still."

One pair of pants was 4 inches too long . . . one pair at least 4 inches too short. Let me see the hems . . . oh just take off the pants so I can get them fixed!

"Uh . . . ."

"Give me the pants!"

As they removed the tux pants--blushing as they grab their jeans--the grumbling begins again . . . something about one has a can of gas and the other had a bic to flick . . .

"Stop it! I'll be back in a few minutes with your pants and if you even think about leaving this building . . . (with laser eye fixed on them ready to blast them) it won't be pretty."

As she walked down the hall to the seamstress she heard their mutters and posturing could be heard floating behind her. Everything would work out.

The rest of the wedding went smooth. No one dared touch their car. The groom had sold it to his brother and was only using it to leave the church. Their real vehicle was packed and parked nearby. The person who would have to clean the vehicle leaving the church was not the groom, but his brother. Hmmm, could that have been on purpose?

The happy couple walked arm in arm around the entertainment park. Engrossed in one another, they heard their names being called out. Who should walk up? The brother--with wife, child, and their parents as well!

"Hey lovebirds! Could you do us a favor? We want to go in here and it scares the kid. Could you keep her for a few minutes?"

They looked at each other. What was fifteen minutes with their precious niece? They took the girl by the hand as her parents disappeared. An hour later they still hadn't found the groom's brother.

Almost two hours later they found him strolling along. Trying to be nice the groom let his irritation at his brother show a bit. After all fifteen minutes is one thing, but providing childcare for a couple of hours while it's your honeymoon is a bit . . . . Ooooooh, from the hidden laughter it became very clear this was a case of "brotherly love" in action. Who else could manipulate one another as easily as brothers?

Brothers . . . you love them . . . you're jealous of them . . . you jostle for the better position . . . you play the birth order card . . . sometimes you hate them . . . sometimes you do stupid things together or to each other, however they are always your brother.

Perhaps we wonder, when God told Adam and Eve to procreate, had God already known the love/hate relationship of brothers that would come. Cain killing his brother Abel; Jacob tricking Esau of his birthright; Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery; Joseph saving his brothers from famine; Aaron speaking for his brother Moses are only a few examples of the complex relationships between brothers.

The words of Bill Withers come to mind:

Sometimes in our lives; We all have pain; We all have sorrow; But if we are wise; We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you're not strong; And I'll be your friend; I'll help you carry on; For it won't be long; 'Til I'm gonna need; Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride; If I have things you need to borrow; For no one can fill those of your needs; That you won't let show

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand; We all need somebody to lean on; I just might have a problem that you'd understand; We all need somebody to lean on

Whether they are good or bad, the relationship . . . the bond between brothers cannot be broken--even in death. Our brother, Jesus Christ, is always there, waiting patiently until we allow him to help us out of the messes of our own making--He's there waiting for us to lean on. So be it. Amen.

George, I've loved you for over thirty-four years . . . always will . . . rest easy brother. If you have questions or comments check her blog at dailystatesman.com or email her at raykayh@gmail.com. Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, writer, musician, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ. İRayla Stewart Hogue

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That might have worked had they been the same color. The groom was in cream. The brother in blue. They just wanted to wear bluejeans, but the bride rules.

-- Posted by raykayh on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 5:36 PM

I remember attending a wedding in Jonesboro, Ark back about 1975. The bride and groom were both voice majors at ASU, the bride a member of the Assembly of God and the groom an Episcopalian. It was at the AofG church. The organ began to play and suddenly there was a scream and a splash. The groom had not come into the sanctuary but had opened the door to and fallen INTO the baptistry. They fished him out, found the usher who was closest in size to the groom, and got the groom dried off and re-dressed and the wedding proceeded as normally as possible. The USHER got to enjoy his jeans and tee shirt for the rest of the day.

-- Posted by westbj on Sat, Jan 28, 2012, at 11:49 PM

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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.
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