Talking About Bruno

September 19, 2022


Let me introduce you to Bruno if you don't know him. In the movie Encanto, Bruno is the uncle in a family that no one in his family talks about. 

Billboard says, “We might not talk about Bruno, but music fans are singing about Bruno. We Don’t Talk About Bruno, the breakout hit from Disney's Encanto is hitting brand-new heights on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is peaking at No. 2 and becoming the second highest charting song ever from a Disney animated film, following the No. 1 hit A Whole New World from 1992’s Aladdin.”

Why didn’t people like to talk about Bruno? He is a scraggly looking, stuttering, ‘hippo in the garden’ type of guy. He foretells what will happen in the future if the family keeps going the way they are going. Unfortunately, the family thinks he is negative, causing bad things rather than just reporting what will happen. Following his disappearance, it became taboo to mention Bruno. He was reviled as a villainous figure by the townsfolk until his deep-rooted love for his family was unearthed at the movie's end. The family finally understood that his gift was for the family’s benefit. 

So today, I’m going to talk about Bruno. Why? Because I have a deep-rooted concern for families and relationships. Let’s explore the subjects of unity and harmony. How can you achieve unity in your family, business, marriage, nation, or church? While we like the concept of agreement and unity, things often end up worse than they started. Why? We, humans, tend to talk on principle but act on self-interest. As a result, we work hard at the wrong thing. 

In ancient Hebrew, every letter is a sound and a picture. The letters in each word combine to paint a word picture that describes the word's meaning. Author Frank Seekins, a friend, conducts seminars about Hebrew words and their meanings. I’ve used some of Frank’s material today to help us discover the essence of unity.   

The Hebrew word for unity is 'Echad.’ ‘Echad’ means to ‘strongly fence the door.’ So, from this word picture, unity comes when we strongly fence the door. What does that mean? Let me quote Frank here in his teachings. 

“Imagine that you were in a movie theater and saw a fire start in front of the theater. What are you going to do? Like me, you will get out of the theater fast! But suppose that the theater doors are locked, and there is no way to leave. What are you going to do now? You put out the fire!"

"We tend to take the door when faced between the fire and the door. But we are forced to deal with the fire when the door is locked. Unity is found in this simple analogy. Every relationship is tested in times of trouble. We would not confront the fire if we left a door open. We have an excuse to leave when the fire gets bad enough."  

What if we were committed to our nation, employer, church, spouse, and the like with this perspective? I'm not talking about staying in extreme, abusive, toxic, one-way relationships. But too many relationships are broken that didn't need to be broken because of hubris, fear, previous hurts, or how to get back together. We don’t know how to talk about Bruno other than to suppress and villainize him.  

Think of how many relationships of all types could be transformed if they worked out their differences. Too many employees run from one job to another. Too many people run from one relationship to another. Too many nations divide because two different philosophies dig in, and the nation’s leaders don't have the maturity or values to negotiate their differences like they used to. When people dig in, they are usually digging their graves.   

In every relationship of any kind, there will be a time when conflict comes. Conflict is inevitable when two or more parties try to work together. Humility is a prerequisite to unity. First, there must be the willingness to work through issues, integrity, and maturity on both sides to negotiate. Then and only then can both parties agree to disagree, but not be disagreeable.  

It takes commitment to the relationship first and self-interest second to look for a win-win, not the current win-lose we see everywhere and in everything these days. Often, the people and institutions discussing diversity are the most frequent violators of their own rhetoric. Let us heal, so we don’t have another generation of trauma passing itself off as culture. That was Bruno speaking.       

Let's go back to that fire in the front of the theatre. Wisdom says the fire is a bigger problem than your problem, agenda, or issue when the doors are locked. Fight the fire, not the person or party next to you. Too many people, nations, churches, businesses, and the like have died in theatre fires while fighting each other. Just think if firefighters fought fires that way. Everyone loses, and nothing is gained in the long run. Many times, the only thing worse than talking about Bruno is not talking about Bruno. But we don’t talk about Bruno.  

What’s the takeaway here? Thus saith Bruno, “Be a first responder with a fire extinguisher. Only you can prevent theater fires.” And thus, saith God, "When brothers dwell together in unity, the Lord commands the blessing…Life forevermore." Psalm 133


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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com