It's hard for me to remember a time when my sister Sarah was not one of my favorite people. I have fuzzy memories of coloring a picture of us two with Psalm 133:1 written underneath as a punishment. (Our parents instructed us to reword it to read, "It is good and pleasant when sisters live together in peace.") I can recall sitting next to her at the kitchen island crying because she had gotten a better score on our spelling test than me. And I think there was a time when Hannah and I would play without Sarah because she was, yes, "too little." When I was a kid I thought the 14-month difference between us was oh so important, but now that I'm "grown" I see what a gift I was given.
Sarah is simultaneously the most and least judgmental person I know. She never says anything unkind about a person, never gossips, and is quick to look at a situation from everyone's point of view. She's excellent at perspective-sharing and highly empathetic. She always manages to remind me that no one is exempt from grace, and what a gift it is to extend the same patience to others to has been extended to me. What all this means, however, is that when you start complaining or saying something you shouldn't, she gets on this pitying and tight-lipped silence that makes conviction just shoot right through you. She doesn't even need to say anything to rebuke you, you know it in a moment, you sense that you're being ungracious, because her kindness shines as a bright example.
|Photo by Lillian Hathaway, Newport 2012|
She reminds me of J3sus, how she managed to be so compassion and so exhorting at the same time. And in this she makes me want to be more like J3sus. I so admire the joy she has: how she can lock her keys in her car on a blustery day and find the humor in the situation. How she digs her heels in on hope, and watches and waits for victory to come through hard situations. How she manages to cope with the insanely busy schedule she keeps, rising to the challenges of being fully present and self-sacrificing in each new setting. It baffles me how she never hesitates at doing the right thing; she follows her convictions and her values unflinchingly. I love her for the kind, kind way she rebukes me.
She's also so freaking competent. She joined staff at our chrch about a year ago and having worked alongside her at youth events and other chrch functions, I have come to marvel at the genuine enjoyment she has for service. The leadership roles she's taken on astound me, probably because I know I could never do what she's doing, and it just makes me so impressed. And I guess it impresses me even more because I know she's grown into the role. She's worked hard to stretch herself and flatten her shortcomings so that she can complete the tasks she's given. She's like the good employee archetype: conscientious, communicative, and dynamic. Whenever I want to hang out with someone I usually ask her to make it happen, because her activities have almost a 100% success rate. (My activities, more like 37%.)
|Моя сестра перед президентским дворцом|
But she is forever my goofy sister. Nothing makes me laugh like her tweets do. She wears her dorky cow hat in public and doesn't care. She eats on a schedule and food is her love language. She posts adorable pictures of my favorite animals on my Facebook wall. She shares my esteem for puns. She helped me rank the five grossest movie kisses of all time (we're still scarred by the moment of passion from Willow). She is my partner in crime, a fellow J3sus follower, and my best friend.