an untold story

There are somethings that I never do because of the awkward and fearful balance between how much I need to do them and how much I don’t want to. This balance is in evangelism and this balance is in cleaning the fan blades, and this balance is in certain topics which Clickety-Clack rarely if ever speaks of. 

There are certain topics which I never write about. 
I don’t want to.
And I want to.
Like the medicine that tastes so disgusting on my tongue and then, minutes later, soothes me head-to-toe.

I once wrote about my one sister who came after the rest of us but isn’t the youngest and how we are as different as night and day and when she goes right I go left and and our hands and eyes and words rub each other the wrongest way. I once had the courage to tell you about that, those of you who were here watching my type appear so long ago. 

The strange thing is, it is the things that I hardly write about that make up most of my life and who I am. I came to the point when I could confess to you that I sometimes scream at orphaned children, simply because they’ve been adopted into my comfort zone. I came to the point when I could humble myself to share the story of leaning my back against the washer machine and singing about Jesus to my worst enemy and most similar sinner. I clicked “publish post” and will never forget wondering if I’d throw up or delete or let out a sigh of relief. I almost did all three.

And, in a sudden burst of trust I told a friend another of my scary stories and it didn’t feel so bad as I thought it might. It felt sort of like opening up a bandage and letting the fresh air in to touch the wound. I’ve already seen healing since I let that fresh air in. 

Then there was the words through earphones which I normally hear through my eyes that blessed me and convicted me and prompted the words you’re reading (and “thank you” for reading…it isn’t everyone who is willing to watch a heart spill over with so many disclaimers of the mess it will surely make.)

So I am here to tell you a new story. About a different sister. A sister who probably doesn’t read this blog anymore, but if she does, knows that I still love her.

She came sort of in the middle of us all and her adoption was signed in love and late night talks on the bedroom carpet and lots and lots of music and cookie dough. She had her own parents, and they tried but they didn’t know how to. So she became ours and we were hers, more so than any paper in a courtroom could tell you, and we grew up together, so painfully slow and sickeningly fast at once.

When she lost a very loved one, her foundation shook and her fist shook at God and we grabbed her and held her and pulled her fist down and opened it up again. But that pillar which was gone, it made her whole house weak, and she never had a home to go to again and so we held hands and bent over and made a shelter for her to sleep under and hoped that she would grow and be strong.

One day, we were outside in the evening digging a hole to plant a baby tree, my true sister and she and I. And this sister, this sister who probably doesn’t read my blog anymore, she asked us the question that turned the weathercock. Shovel piercing the earth, she asked us: “Will we always be friends?” 

The two of us, we told her she was crazy. Of course we would, so long as we wanted to. It was up to us, and we did want to, so “yes silly,” we would always be friends. But doubt had wedged it’s way into the strong trunk of the tree, and it would never heal up properly. 

And the next part of the story, I don’t know how to explain to you. She ran away and came back and ran away and one day I knew that she wouldn’t be giving me a piano lesson, and another day I knew that she wouldn’t be at church, and another day I knew the truth that made me want to dig myself a hole and jump into it, that we weren’t sisters anymore.

How were we to know that that Summer we would have no rain and the drought would strike us like an angry slave master? And that the tree would never grow up, but turn brown and die despite our efforts to save its young life? How were we to know that a sister can become an acquaintance or a prayer request or a heart breaker?

And did we make a mistake the first time she sat at our table and ate our dinner with us or on our couch for a funny movie or slept in our bed for the fourth night in a row? 

I look back and my eyes burn at the things I see, but not nearly so badly as my heart with its every pump. Not so badly as the bonds of sisterhood, torn apart on the floor. 

And now it is us, the sisters by blood, who are grabbing each other and holding each other and pulling our fists down from God to open them up again. But oh, how hard to open them up again! But once the clam is finally open, there is a pearl inside, and the sand can wash things out and make them pure again. 

But to let the sand in, to work again, that is hard. To trust, to love and let love, to let new hands touch your doorknob and wave hello. This can be terrifying.

And it scares me to my core to think of sticking together only to rip apart. But then I step back, and I think, maybe.

Maybe love is worth it.
Maybe friendship is an ocean with tides that come in and yes, go out.
Maybe the One who loves the most is the one who hurts the most.
Maybe fresh air can heal old wounds.
Maybe the wounds bring us closer to the Great Physician. 
Maybe everything is going to be alright when this short time is over and we are all together,
none of us hurting,
all of us loving,
all of us sisters and brothers, forever.

So I look out my window at the place where the tree used to be, and I have to shut my eyes. But when I open them again, I see the forest and the sprawling Texas oaks and the healthy young saplings, all close enough to intertwine, and I know that I have plenty to be thankful for. I forgive the sister and I smooth over the stump where grass now grows and I hold new seeds in my hand.


                                        {all photos with credit due to the photographess}

4 Responses to an untold story

  1. Everly Pleasant August 25, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    I love you too! I am sorry for making you cry, but I told you that already. Kleenex?


  2. Sabrina Bleu August 23, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    Everly, this post was so beautiful. You explained everything that I feel. It also made me cry, a lot. But thank you for writing it. I love you, sister.

  3. Everly Pleasant August 21, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    YOU are an encouragement to me. Thank you dearly, Dear.


  4. Melee August 21, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    Thank you for sharing this untold story, Everly.
    Your insights are really such an encouragement.

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