By: Jenni Taylor
My big sister and I were always up at 7 am Sunday mornings. She would already have her lipstick on and her earrings in while I was stumbling around with a coffee mug looking for my lost flip flops. I’d somehow join her five minutes to 8 and we would grab a taxi to get to the church. It wasn’t far away, it was just nice to take a taxi in the mornings.
The church would be locked with a giant padlock which we would use to bang on the door. Eventually a tired looking guy named Benji would come open up for us. A couple of the guys from church would wake up from where they had crashed out on the platform and start to sweep and set up chairs. Sis and I would head to a classroom in the back and do our own cleaning up. Sweep a little, wipe off the desks, set up a small circle.
She and I were usually alone for the first five or ten minutes. We would talk about my students, or her kids, or whatever else. One by one the other girls would come in. Sometimes it was only three or four, sometimes ten or twelve. we would all smile shyly at each other and pull out bibles and notebooks. We were all friends of a sort, but it was Sis that really connected us together.
We would pray, and then crack open our bibles. Sis had a way of making the time fly by. She would show us verse after verse, and we would all scribble notes and kind of float back in a gentle peace. She does that to people, makes them feel all peaceful. I would be bouncing around a little from having caffeine too early, or start tapping my pencil against my thigh and get that look in my face when we read a verse that threw me off or drove me crazy. But Sis would always calm me down, always listen.
Two hours, sometimes two and a half, would go by easy. We would hold hands and pray at the end, and then go back in the big room where music was playing and other people were praying and singing. Sis and I would always hang in the back for a few minutes, close our eyes and soak it in, and then sneak out to the bright sunshine. This was our routine. Get a taxi, pick up my laundry from the laundry mat, and then go back home and make french toast.
I loved cooking for sis. She was always so happy about it, even if I burned the toast and lost the bacon and talked so much I forgot I was supposed to be cooking while I waved eggs around in my hands to prove a point. Eventually we would be sitting down, and she would be mixing the cinnamon with the sugar, and I would be talking her ear off. I’d talk and talk and then we would finish eating, and I would do the dishes just so I could keep talking again.
My sis is an adopted sis- or rather, she adopted me. She took me in and gave me a home when I was so very far away from the home I came from. The whole week we would be ships in the night, sometimes barely seeing each other at all, but Sundays? Sundays were ours.
When dishes were finally done and I had ran out of breath, she would give me the brightest smile in the world and tell me thanks for breakfast. Any time, I would say. And then we would both wander off to opposite ends of the house for the mandatory Sunday nap that happens when you live in a place of a heat index of 100.
I would leave the kitchen refreshed, rejuvenated, and free. Sundays were my favorite days, always. I had never had a sis before, and now I got one all to myself for a few precious hours once a week. Her peace would crawl into my heart and hug me tight, and last me just long enough to make it to the next Sunday.
We are far away from each other now, but I still think of her pretty much every time I eat french toast and crack open my bible. Journeys were never meant to be made all alone. Yeah, sometimes we get the help only for a little while, but it’s always enough and always in the nick of time.
I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have a sis like the one I have. But you, you reading this, you’re not alone either. Find someone to pray with you and talk with you. Don’t go it alone. Push yourself to learn just enough to share with someone else. Send in contributions here. We’re all ready to listen, ready to be your sister. And if you’re really lucky, I might stop by and make you breakfast.