Rachel’s brother John is the father of the four kids that just piled into Rachel’s kitchen and plopped their backpacks onto her table. He had been a farmer as a young boy but was badly burned in a barn accident, the same accident that took his dad David’s life and his mother Mary’s legs. It was a bad accident, and one that wasn’t really talked about much anymore. Rachel was afraid that bringing it up would be too hard for grandma Mary. On that day Mary lost her husband David, she lost her legs, and although she didn’t lose her son, she lost a part of him, because their relationship has never been the same. From that day forward he started his journey away from her and the rest of their family, away from Jesus and his church family, away from all his memories of farming, without of course, being a total jerk. After all, his dad did at least raise him to honor his momma, so he would still be around, he would still call her once a week and send her a mother’s day card and a birthday card and he’d spend way too much on her at Christmas.That was the true extent of the relationship. In his heart, if he were really honest, he were an orphan of his own making. He had set out on his own, plowed his own way and hadn’t ever gone back to how things were and had no intention of ever doing so. He decided NOT to be a farmer and to stay far from it.
John is now an orthopedic surgeon. Something about seeing his mom go through all that pain of losing her legs pushed him to orpthopedics. It was also the one way to show the outside world that he was in fact, not a total jerk. As far as the town knew, it was the accident that turned him away from farming and into “something greater”, this new career of genuine healing.