Our next lesson is of God as Sibling. This image can be the most fertile for thought and also the most difficult to relate God to. The relationship between two siblings is extremely dynamic, running the full gambit of emotions. Because a sibling is usually a peer, then the relationship is far more intimate than with one’s parents. The relationship is also one of the longest that you would have. As we have before, begin journalling the roles that a sibling plays in your life. Whether brother or sister, older or younger, each brings to mind a plethora of relational aspects.
Was your sibling your mentor? Or were they under your wing? Did they annoy the hell out of you? Or did you pick on them?
If you have a blood sibling, imagine them in your mind, whether it’s a positive or negative image, then imagine that image being God. If you were an only child, then either imagine a friend that was “like a brother/sister to you” or contemplate what you think the ideal sibling role would be. Were you able to be far more open with your sibling growing up than with your parents? Can you see God knowing you that well? Or was there ever a rift between you and your sibling? Remember, unlike with friends or even partners, siblings are blood and they’re a part of you your whole life whether you like it or not. I know of siblings that have had rifts last for 30 years, but in the end they still resolved. The relationship may have been different by that point, but because they were siblings, reconciliation was inevitable. Can you see that with God? Despite the rifts we may have with God, we know that eventually we’ll have to come back. God’s always there. And even if we turn our backs on God, that space that God’s Love fills in us will always long to be complete again.
For this exercise, I will limit my usual promptings. I want you to just explore the image of sibling. Because our relationships with our siblings are so dynamic, there is no way I can direct you in this very accurately. Each of your sibling images can be very different. So explore that relationship in your journalling, imagine God as a sibling to you, and see what comes of that. What do you like about and dislike about it. What you like, try to explore that more with God. What you dislike in that image, explore why and see where you may need to grow in your view of God.
When we say we are “brothers and sisters in Christ” or that humanity should be a full “brotherhood” or “sisterhood,” are we really aware of what that means? Brothers and sisters can get along or fight like cats and dogs. But in the end, they are still family. What does it mean if God can be a brother or sister to us? What does it mean if we are all family as God’s creation? What does it mean to see everyone you meet as a brother or sister as God resides in them just as God resides in us?