My brother Ray died in 2006 at the age of fifty-two. A freak medical condition caused him to collapse; and even with great medical help, he did not survive. The shock of having an otherwise healthy person suddenly die made our entire family stop for a number of days. For more than forty years, there had always been “seven Cross children.” No matter what else happened in the world, we knew that there were six other people who shared similar DNA, similar histories, similar quirks of behavior and thought processes.
Now there are only five others who share all that with me. Ray’s death was a tragedy. However, I do know that I have spoken more with my other brother and with my sisters in the months that have followed than I have in years past. The conversation has been deeper and more personal; and although we cannot change what happened to Ray, we certainly can live through it and find hope and even a new way of living with one another as a result.
In this lesson we will look at Joseph’s reunion with his brothers and affirm that God certainly can redeem the suffering that all humans experience.