Reprinted from the Ezra and Hadassah book site


My brother Rex had more than his share of life’s troubles. He could only read and write on a 3rd grade level and lived his life as an eternal 9 year-old boy. That meant he was thrilled beyond belief when I told him the greatest news ever.

I won a radio contest. On a whim, at 6am that morning, I dialed the local radio station and entered a contest. They wanted to see who could hum the theme song for the movie, “Mission Impossible” the longest. Easy-peasy for me. While the other contestants dropped off because they had to leave for work or school (this was before cell phones) I hummed the wordless song repeatedly for 40 minutes as I cooked eggs and oatmeal at the stove, then fed two complaining kids and a screaming baby in the background. As the radio announcer played songs, read the weather report and did his typical show, he randomly dropped in on my phone line to check if I was still humming. Above the racket at my house, I was. It was a typical morning for me, humming to myself to drown out the noise from my three hearing-impaired children as they screeched their requests for juice! milk! bread! eggs! I didn’t put in their hearing aids until after breakfast, so everything was always loud in the morning at our house.

I won tickets to the local water park, tickets to see the movie Mission Impossible, dinner for two at a local restaurant and as an added bonus, a case of wine from the local winery because, “Lady, after listening to your house for an hour, you deserve more than just one bottle of wine. God bless you, lady, I’m never complaining about my job ever again.” *cue the laugh track*

When I called Rex in Cheyenne to let him know we were picking him up the next weekend to go the water park, he was so excited. He had never been to a water park and had always wanted to go, like all 9 year-old- boys- in-a-30-year-old -mans-body would want.

On Saturday, Rob and I took our three little kids and Rex to the grand opening of the local water park. It was overcast, but the water was warm and we had a great time. Rob and I took care to make sure the kids had sunscreen on all day. We didn’t want to have to deal with a miserable, sun burnt child.

We totally forgot about ourselves or Rex. No sunscreen for us.

As expected, that night Rob and I suffered. Mightily we suffered as our skin went from red to deep red to blistering red. And we talked about Rex. We worried how he was doing in his apartment 40 minutes away, in Cheyenne,Wyoming. He wasn’t smart enough to know how to take care of a bad sunburn. If we were in agony, we could only imagine what was happening at his place. First thing in the morning, I called Rex, expecting to hear the worst.

He answered the phone cheerfully, “Hel-lo! How are you this morning?”
“Actually, I’m pretty miserable. Rob and I have really bad sunburns from the water park. How are you?” I asked.
“I’m fine. No problems.”
“How is that possible?” I asked, incredulously.
“Oh, when I got home my skin was really hurting, so I prayed and asked my Best Friend what to do about it and He told me.”
“What did Jesus tell you do?”
“He told me to fill the bathtub with cold water and to soak in it until it didn’t hurt anymore.”
“But wasn’t that super cold?” I asked, knowing full well that Rob and I tried to take cold showers to take the heat out of our burns, but we couldn’t stand the freezing water.
“Yeah, but I figured my Best Friend knew what he was talking about, so I did it anyway. And it worked. I slept fine and I don’t hurt at all,” Rex casually replied.
“Oh, ok. Well, I’m glad you are fine. That is really good news,” I said and got off the phone as fast as I could.

My brother, who couldn’t remember to brush his teeth and preferred to never take a bath with soap, managed to take care of a blistering sunburn better than two college graduates because he fully trusted Jesus, his Best Friend.

Once again, my brother left me speechless.