I was delighted when my (non-Christian) brother and his wife said they were coming for a visit over Christmas. I need your perspective on a situation that ruined Christmas Eve. It was after dinner, after the dishes were done, after Mom opened her presents and had been escorted home. (She's in a mobile home in the back yard.)
My brother (Paul) blew up at my husband (Ken) and he and his wife abruptly left, a day early. No goodbye or civil explanation -- just a very loud, angry, and highly profane tantrum on Paul's part in the driveway. I asked what was going on and my sister-in-law simply said, "Ken's remarks," as she took the driver's seat. Paul ended his tirade with a terse "Have a good one" before they drove away.
I asked Ken what happened, and he related that apparently he had responded to Paul's various rantings with one too many "Get over it"s. While shopping on Saturday for a new TV for Mom, Ken heard bigoted ethnic, racial, religious, and political commentary from both Paul and Mom, and told me later it had reached the point that he didn't even want to be around them. Well, I'm not keen on that kind of talk, either, but a great many issues just don't bother me because I know we're in the last days. (Hooray!) It's all temporary for Christians!
Anyway, Ken sent Paul an e-mail, apologizing for making him mad, and adding that he hoped this incident wouldn't ruin Paul's relationship with me. That is Ken's concern -- that I may not see my brother again. I do not blame Ken for this incident. Paul has a huge temper and is known to be a bridge-burner. There has been no response to the e-mail. I still love Paul, but...
Tell me true -- is it time for me to let go of him? Is the Lord showing me that I need to sever ties with my non-Christain family? I keep thinking of the scripture, "Have nothing to do with them." I've been depressed, and I want to take down the Christmas decorations and put the presents away and erase the events of the weekend. I don't know where I stand with Paul or his wife.
Is there something I should or should not do regarding this situation? I'm reluctant to send e-mail or make a phone call to either of them, for fear of stirring up more anger. I don't even know how to pray about this. :(
I'd appreciate your feedback.