Here’s a story about my brother Andrew. I was about 10 years old, making him 8. We were in our bedroom on the second story of our the tiny old house our family inhabited in Story City, Iowa, and we were engaged (as we often were) in a wrestling context.

The bedroom being small, the inevitable occurred and I hit my head on my bed frame - badly enough to stop the wrestling, if not to create any real damage.

As best as I can recall, this wasn’t Andrew’s fault. (My memory is not always entirely reliable, but I also have to think it wouldn’t needlessly cast Andrew in a positive light here.) Nonetheless, as I sat there moaning and writhing he felt a need to demonstrate his contrition.

The best way to show me how sorry he was, he felt with impeccable eight-year-old’s logic, would be to partake in my suffering (so to speak), and thus he looked around for something to strike his own head against, that he too might moan and writhe.

The window pane was the wrong choice.

Andrew’s compassion and gentleness have not changed in the intervening years, though his reasoning skills and impulse control have. In Sonia, he married someone who equals him in good humor, empathy, and patience.

My brother and sister-in-law are facing a huge struggle against the powers of destruction, not for the first time, as Sonia goes into treatment for cancer 10 years after she was last given a clean bill of health.

I would be deeply grateful if you would read their story on GoFundMe and, above all for those who pray, keep them in prayer. Should you also feel moved to give, we’ll be very grateful for that as well.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” - 2 Cor. 1:3