The family had a car wreck on the day she was born, but we forgave her and moved on. She was a skinny little red baby when I expected a cooing round-cheeked cherub but we moved on.
Later, stealing the football from the middle of a game got her plenty of attention. As the thundering players drew near, she’d fling the ball high in the air. The decision was whether to maul the fleeing thief or retrieve the ball. The ball always won. And we moved on.
We once drew a line down the middle of our room so that her messy side didn’t touch my less-messy side. And one night, we argued over who would turn off the light. We both stubbornly refused to get out of bed but she won: she fell asleep. We moved on.
Once, in the middle of an argument, I said, “You’re silly” and she responded, “Don’t call me names, you big ape!” It’s become one of our rallying cries. We moved on.
I taught her the mystery of f-stops and shutter speeds; now she has far outdistanced me with a camera. Yep, we moved on.
We’re typical sisters: we’ve had our scrapes and tussles but we talk nearly every day. When I want an honest opinion, I ask her. I know that she can be honest because our history is long. Family stands with family. At least, that’s our motto (after “don’t call me names….”).
When I read Paul’s words about our adoption into the family of God, it is meaningful to me.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Thanks to my sister, I understand something of sharing in suffering and sharing in glory. Our family tussles and forgives. We tease and trust. Nobody can kick us out of the family.
No family is perfect and many are shattered. If our earthly family isn't warm and loving, our heavenly family is. The picture in Romans 8 is of our adoption into God’s family, an image of mercy and forgiveness. We relax in that context.
Today is my sister’s birthday. In celebrating with her, I get to reflect on our place as children of God. We’re all family and it’s pretty special.