Sunday, April 27, 2008

Confessions of a younger sister

It is my brother's birthday today. When we were kids I thought he was pretty cool. He's three and a half years older than I am, and I tried to be strong and athletic like he was. He was the only boy among four girls, so he had lots of supporters and critics simultaneously. My brother has struggled in his life, with addiction and relationships. He seems to be doing well now, having made some peace with his own demons and his family. As young siblings, we fought and tussled, as adults, we struggle with our relations sometimes. We love each other and are easily hurt by one another, wishing our closeness was guaranteed. And in all of it, I know that God put us in families for a purpose.

It is in our brothers and sisters we are known best. We are teased by them, criticized by them, defended by them. I once brought a metal lunch box down on the head of a schoolmate because he was making fun of my brother for something I don't even remember. My lunch box was forever imprinted with his head. And we, are forever imprinted and bound by the siblings God has given us. God teaches us about the constancy of God in the turmoil and the returning of our relationships with our siblings.

May we all be grateful today for the families that God has placed us in. Large or small, we learn to trust through these very complex and close creatures. We are so alike and so different. The true complexity of the image of God in one another. May we rejoice in our siblings, our families, our loved ones - for no matter how they struggle, no matter how they strain us - they are the face of God in our lives.

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