Saturday, July 25, 2009

Betsy's Birthday

For you formed my inward parts;you knitted me together in my mother's womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works;my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:1-17

My baby sister Betsy has a birthday today. She is the youngest of five, and six and a half years younger than I am. I was old enough to help care for her when she was born. As she grew, I would take her for walks in her stroller, take her to the park and do all the things older sibling do with their younger siblings. We went to movies as she got older. She also wanted me to take her horse back riding on her 12th birthday. She was insistent and I was indulgent. I didn't have much skill with horses but we had a riding stable near our home in Cape May Point and so I took her there. Betsy was of that age when girls are in love with horses. We had an young and inexperienced guide, Betsy's horse got spooked, and she fell off her horse that day fateful day. What had been the most wonderful of birthday presents quickly became a terrible mess. She broke her leg quite badly and was off her feet and in a wheel chair the rest of that summer and into the fall. I felt horribly responsible, even though I was only trying yo make her happy for her birthday. I had a long siege of bad dreams and an even longer siege with the guilt. She was my beautiful little sister and I had brought her pain.

I have grown since those times and we have had children of our own. And now they are grown too. I have watched loving sisters, loving parents - all of us try to make another happy, only to bring unexpected pain. And what I know for sure is that none of the pain and setbacks change one ounce of how "fearfully and wonderfully" we are made. Age and challenges, disabilities, losses and disappointments - none of it can damage in the least God's incredible creations. My sister, my children - all of us - are marvelously made by a marvelous creator who does not love us any less when we fall from grace or from the back of a horse. Nor does God put obstacles in our way. God is the source of love for all precious creations. We are treasured completely.

Today, I want to live seeing God's treasures in every person I meet. God's perfect creation mirrored in all the lives I encounter today.

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