When I read someone else’s memoirs of their sister, I run a mental commentary alongside their words. If this weren’t a library book, if it was my own paperback copy, perhaps I would scribble my reactions in the margins.

Describing the author and her sister’s matching outfits in 1960s style, and recalling the fact that strangers would oftentimes ask whether the two girls were twins — I chuckle, remembering the many times that we mirrored each other’s garb. My sister would, no doubt, have sniffed with disgust if someone had failed to realize that she was older and much wiser than myself.

I ran into one of our grade-school friends a few years ago, and she commented that (at least from her perspective) I wasn’t an insufferable bratty little sister. That was encouraging to hear. Possibly because I was so massively shy and introverted (and a bit odd), I didn’t make my own friends easily. So if my sister and her schoolmates (who were two grades above me) tolerated my presence, I was more likely to just go along with their games, rather than trying to hang out with kids my own age.

The memoirist was explaining that when their family lived in DC and drove across some of the bridges there in their 1960s Plymouth, her sister developed a fear of bridges. So, as they were house-hunting in Florida to relocate there for their father’s job, her sister was crouching on the floor of the Plymouth’s back seat to hide her view of the necessary bridge-crossing. The author kicked her sister and declared that she was missing out on dolphin-watching.

My mental commentary: although my sister & I surely kicked (or punched, or otherwise clobbered each other) on a regular basis, our roles would most definitely be reversed here. I would indeed be likely to crouch on the floor in dread of some perceived danger, but when we were kids, my sister was never afraid of anything.

varying talents

Over the course of this year, a New Testament scripture returns to my mind over and over again.

God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well…
(from Romans 12: 6, in the New Living Translation)

Wondering: Do you think I’ll ever learn to stop comparing myself (and what I am able to offer the world) with other people (and the many things that they are able to accomplish)?

The verse above that says,
… We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.

Some days it’s easier than others, to be “at peace” with the abilities I have, and not to just be a Jan Brady among a crowd of Marcias.