Sisters – what a crazy concept.
If you have a sister, you, too, have likely experienced how the women we call ‘sisters’ can drive us to do just about anything, be it good and bad, and feel all depths of emotion. As the eldest of eight sisters and having three sisters-in-law, being the mother of four sisters, and having a handful of women that are certainly my sisters, I have pretty much seen it all.
I’ve seen the beauty that is sisterhood – the lengths sisters will go through to love, protect and encourage each other. I’ve also seen the ugly – the comparisons, gossip, jealousy and sabotage.
My sisters and I aren’t perfect, just beautifully human.
This dynamic is brilliantly suited for sainthood and isn’t limited to sisterhood. It’s impossible to count the number of times a sister has been Jesus to another sister. While patching a scraped knee, reading bedtime stories, sharing an afternoon snack, listening about the latest crush, comforting after a breakup, visiting each other’s colleges and homes, watching kids for a date night, holding each other after miscarriages, and just stepping in with selflessness and sacrifice to be Love for Love’s sake is the stuff that transforms one from the old to the new.
In the giving and receiving, this exchange is like a soft, soapy loofah that gently washes one another in love.
Just as the good transforms us, I’ve seen and experienced how the ugly can change us for the better, too. The criticisms, jealousy, or disappointment from a sister can cause wounds that run long and deep. I’m sure most of us can recall something terribly hurtful that a sister has said or done. Instead of working like a loofah, these experiences are more like the work of a pumice stone.
They scrub us raw, sometimes to the bone, and are meant to teach us to look to Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart and there to be given the grace to practice all the virtues, especially forgiveness.
Whatever the cause of the transgression – be it from misunderstanding, weaknesses, selfishness, immaturity, a sense of entitlement, or even sometimes just plain meanness – these scrubbings change us from the old to new if we let grace do its work. This truly is transforming.
Each of us is both a loofah and a pumice stone, sometimes without evening knowing it. It’s just the stuff of sisters. It’s also the stuff of saints.