My brother Chris and I let our personal interests keep us apart. It did not help that we were also geographically far apart as well.
Chris was a good little brother to me. He and I thought alike in a lot of ways. We stayed out of the social clicks. We always tried to find the good in all situations in our lives, especially the roughest spots. We believed most people were good at heart; some just had a harder time showing it to others. We both were positive thinkers who always believed things would always turn out for the best.
There were many things about us that were opposite as well. He liked telling on me and I liked torturing him for telling on me.
We grew up in a physically abusive family. Our parents were alcoholic parents. Although they were divorced, the violence continued. Every major event in our lives was ruined by alcohol. No celebration escaped the poison of it: birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and weddings. Even pictures of these events would provoke a fight years after the event. One thing was for sure, someone was going to walk, or crawl away from the event battered, bloody and belittled, yet feeling like they had a small victory for standing up for what they believe in.
Mom was against dad, brother was against brother and sister. The Bible says that the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. This behavior was the way our family was used to living. It was also the death of us as a family unit. We had no joy or peace. Chris and I thought so much alike and we found solace in a fantasy world we created for ourselves. We both dreamed of the way life was supposed to be, instead of the reality we were stuck in. Chris and I always had each other’s back.
One night I happened to catch the ending of a program on T.V. A man said that the theory of evolution was not true! I thought, “Finally! There are answers that make sense.” I was so excited. I wanted to tell everyone I knew, and that also included everyone I didn’t know! I spoke to people about my discovery every place that I could– in grocery stores, in gas stations, churches and to my neighbors.
I was on a mission to inform everyone that evolution is not a fact. In fact, it is still called the “Theory of Evolution”. I bought books by the cases and gift wrapped them, prayed over them and put them in Halloween bags, handed them to people in the laundry mat, grocery store, post office, the mall, the homeless shelter and gave them to beggars on the freeway corners. I share this information with everyone that will listen.
Reaching my brother Chris was a lot tougher. We were separated and out of touch for years at a time. But each time we were together I could see how life in this world had taken it’s toll on him.
He had been hit by a car and in a body cast from his toes to his armpits for nearly a year. He went through two divorces, battled drug addiction, lost a child to SIDS and sawed off his hand, (doctors sewed it on and made it functional again but he lived in constant pain).
While he was in the service was in a severe auto accident. He died and was revived by the rescue team. He was an abusive alcoholic, following in the way of which he was trained by my parents. I loved him and I wanted to help him.
I began to share what I had been learning about God and His creation. He was a guest in our home for several weeks and if nothing else, he respected my home and cleaned up his act. I He politely watched what I chose to watch on T.V listened to what I chose to play on the radio. I began playing taped episodes of the creation/evolution series nightly.
After not too long, he began to ask me, “Are we watching that again tonight?” I’d say “yes” and he’d say “good”. Afterward, it would open up a discussion and we would talk for hours.
I was shocked to learn that he believed God had marked him for a life of destruction. He believed God saw to it that his fate was sealed. I was confused and asked him to explain. He said his SSN contained 666 and he was sure that his life was the way it was always going to be. He believed God didn’t love him.
I assured him that Jesus did love him and died for him so he could live forever. “Now, let me see that card” I said. Sure enough, his SSN contained the sixes in a row. However, there were four. Using my smarts, I told him “Sorry, you are over-qualified to be a part of Satan’s plan. You have an extra 6. I got my face next to his and looked him straight in the eye and said, “You are satan’s reject.”
After weeks of discussion Chris told me he did not believe Jesus was a part of God. We talked about this over a series of many days and nights. He was not ready to give his heart to the Lord just yet and the time had arrived for him to leave.
I sent him home with a Bible and a complete set of tapes I had recorded for him. Later he told me he watched them until our sister complained and then he stopped watching them.
This broke my heart for Chris. He was on a self destructive course and possibly the only thing that could help reach him was being “forbidden.” The devil will use even the people who love you to keep you from going to God.
In October 2008, I had a dream. In this dream my friend Pam, who had never met Chris called me to tell me that Chris had killed himself last night. THIS DREAM WAS SO REAL. I could see her face as she was speaking into the phone and I could feel her as though she was next to me. I could feel the phone in my hand. I JUMPED up with a scream that woke my husband. My body was shaking and I was pouring sweat. I assured my husband I was ok and he should sleep. I got up and walked around the house trying to rationalize this dream. I kept thinking, this can’t mean anything because Pam and Chris have never met. I forced myself back to sleep.
I rationalized this dream for days. Then I got a call from Chris. He was sober. “Hey babes, how ya doing? Can you help me find my army buddies online?” Immediately I felt as though a heavy weight had physically been placed on top of my head and shoulders. I remained quiet about the dream. I took the information he gave me about his friends and we talked. I asked him if he was reading his Bible. We joked a little, laughed and he said he would call back.
I continued to rationalize the dream to myself and said nothing of the dream while I was on the phone with Chris. I began to pray for God to help me understand what the meaning was and what I should do. I begged the Lord to help me, I was so afraid for Chris.
A few days passed. It was his birthday. He called to check on the progress of the hunt for his buddies. He was cheery and sober. At the sound of his voice that same heavy feeling came upon me, only with more intensity. We talked a while and joked a little. I asked him more about how things were going for him and what was happening in his life. I needed reassurance that he was ok. He was optimistic and assured me everything was fine. He was working, staying sober and feeling good. We talked again about God and Jesus and I asked him to promise he would start reading his Bible again. He said he would. We hung up. I said nothing of the dream. I rationalized it as paranoia, but I continued to pray.
About a week passed and I nearly fell to the floor as I rose to answer the phone. The weight I felt the last two calls doubled up on me the instant I picked up the phone. It was Chris. I was so happy to hear his voice. Again, I said nothing of the dream. He started the conversation with a daily joke as he always liked to do. I told him that I loved him and we needed to talk about serious matters today. We talked of Jesus, creation, salvation, truth-who’s version is right, proper Bibles, testing spirits, the thief on the cross, the flood and he even asked me if I have ever doubted my faith. He said he had been talking to his buddy and reading the Bible.
Then he said something that sent chills down my spine. He told me that he learned he needed to pray to Mary and get his sins absolved on Sunday. I stopped cold in my tracts and said, “Whoa, wait, what did you say?” I told him that Jesus says He is The Way, The Truth and The Life and no one comes to the Father but by Him.
This talk was the most open and honest conversation we had ever had. We talked over three hours. He had to go. I said, “Honey, call me sometime. I’m here, just call if you need me. He said, “I love you, Bubs.” I told him I love him too. Something inside me made me feel like this would be our last conversation. I remember my last words were: “Chris, if you ever face what you believe may be your last breath, call out to Jesus.“ As I hung up the phone I prayed “Jesus, Chris is in your hands. Please take care of him.” I cried.
A few days later around Halloween 2008, my brother Christopher Lee Murray was murdered in his own neighborhood. He was on a path he had walked thousands of times. He was just a few blocks from his home. We believe Chris was killed by people who were assigned to protect the citizens that night.
A nephew went to identify his body and he called as soon as he got home to tell me that it looked like his Uncle Chris had a smile on his face. I didn’t know what to tell him. I have never seen a face in death except for when I was at a funeral.
A few days later at Chris’ funeral service his daughter came up to me and said, “The police let me see my dad on video Aunt Theresa. I swear to you he had a smile on his face.” She told me that others didn’t believe her and she said,“I know my dad. HE HAD A SMILE ON HIS FACE.“ I looked at her and I tried to smile, expressing the joy I felt inside because I knew he was home with Jesus. We hugged. We cried.
God hears your cries. He is there to save, no matter what condition you are in. He is ready for you the minute you are ready for Him, even if it is the last breath of your life.
The photo above is my precious brother, Chris. I am so thankful that your smile is the last thing I remember.
Do you have a Christ-inspired life changing testimony? Would you like to share how real God is? You can by touch other’s lives by sharing your story. Please contact us to share your personal journey of how amazing God is and how powerful a life in Christ can be!