“I wonder what’s wrong with her,” the perceptive older sister said as her little sister approached. “She looks as if she’s upset.” And she was. It was Awards Day at her school and while she had received an award, her name had been misspelled in the booklet and left off several award categories.
When little sister reached where we were standing, her sister asked, “What’s wrong, Sweetie?” She started to talk then tears started to fall. I followed as the older sister led the younger one to someplace more private and then pulled her into her arms.
She told her that it didn’t matter if she hadn’t gotten an award. She believed in her and knew how smart she was. Also, the fact that her name had been omitted couldn’t take away what was already inside. Then she jokingly said, “Do you want me to go and get you a huge trophy and bring it back to school?” By this time, little sister was smiling and shook her head no. The moment when she should have shined in front of her family and friends had not happened like it should have but, she had been comforted by the words of affirmation from her older sister.
That sweet and touching scene stayed with me long after I came home. I was impressed first of all that the older sister was paying such close attention to her little sister that she noticed immediately that something was wrong.
Next, I was touched that the little sister knew that her older sister’s arms were a safe place. Although she was distraught, she held on to her composure until she reached to where her sister was. The genuine caring in her older sister’s voice gave her permission to share her hurt.
Finally, I was amazed by how the older sister comforted and spoke such beautiful words of affirmation to her younger sister. There was so much love and support that it was enough to bring tears to the eyes.
I want to be the type of sister in Christ that the older sister was to her little sister. I want to be perceptive and tuned in enough that I notice when those around me are hurting and if possible, offer words designed to comfort and support. The words offered may not necessarily solve the problem it can encourage that hurting sister. It can help her to see that it’s not the end of the world. The situation may be difficult and painful but, she has a safe place where she can share her burdens and be encouraged to keep holding on.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Eccles 4:9-10 (NLT)
*Edited to insert that that two young ladies in this post are my cousins.
- A Listening Heart
- Importance of The Scriptures