Dear Sister

Dear Sister,

Such strange times.

Even when we are preempted from our normal activities and from our interactions with others, which have often left us with too little time for one another;

Even now in our isolation of weather and COVID;

Even now, the bridge that exists between us, built of parents and past history, seems to have become broken. Venturing to cross it to call and talk feels …what?… dangerous, maybe. The danger of saying something that will push you further away; the danger of disrupting a scab before it has had time to cover the rawness of wounds, allowing them to heal.

And yet, there’s the danger, too, of allowing too much time to pass before calling, such that scars will develop and become too deep and too hard for us to breach at some future time.

I’m not sure where we lost our way, when the bonds of childhood and family bound us, when we walked together. But as I think about it, it was me who veered off the course we shared. As I have turned more and more to Christ — which is to say, as I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with Him who died for us, as the perfect sacrifice, the pure victim, for our sins — I have changed. He has changed me slowly, but irrevocably, conforming me day by day, more and more to be the person He created me to be at the beginning.

I’ve been moved in recent years to look at those early pictures of me, as I was before life and all its experiences intervened. You must have known me back then, too, with a more conscious memory of me, and who I was, than I have of myself in many ways. I look at pictures of you, too, and all our family, and wonder at God’s plan for us, in the beginning, before our lives filled, wound upon wound, the innocence of our early years.

In the beginning He gave us each other for special purposes. I wonder whether we have each fulfilled those purposes or, if not, I wonder what more there is for us to offer one another?

You admonished me once to not speak of these holy things. And I’ve tried to respect that. But it’s come at the expense of sharing with you the most precious, the most beautiful part of my life. The part that God plays in being first in my life, not to the exclusion of my other relationships, but somehow ordering all my other relationships to His purpose.

So, as apprehensive as I feel about writing to you about these things and as much as I don’t understand them all yet — certainly not well enough to articulate them without speaking in terms of faith and in spiritual language — I wanted to give you the broad strokes in the hope that you might understand.

I love you. And I think of you and pray for all of you every day. As separate as we have become, I feel close to you in spirit, especially when I gaze upon our childhood pictures and remember who we were in the beginning.

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