two sisters praying
I walk in from my first round of morning carpool, and she sits at the bar, twisting a long ribbon of brassy hair around her finger. Through the open door that extends our home past the threshhold and anchors it truly as part of a much broader world, I can hear the birds tweeting madly, loudly, over their breakfast. The breeze gently lifts her hair at the ends and lightly grazes our cheeks, warm. She smiles, in easy and unburdened response to my entrance.
“I had some anxiety this morning,” she says, and I might have guessed because of the open door, though I can no longer find any trace of agitation in her expression. When Riley feels overwhelmed and nervous; when she feels as though her feet slide too close to fear, she sits outside on the porch and watches the birds bob and skitter at the feeders, on the ground, along the fence posts like elegant sentinels. She names them and talks to them while she talks to God, until the morning tension passes.
“Oh, it’s okay. Zoe came out and sat with me and prayed with me.” In my heart I can see them rocking slowly side-by-side, their blonde heads pressed together. I can see Zoe’s hand on Riley’s back, the dots of her glittery russet fingernail polish against the buttery color of Riley’s shirt. “Zoe said that it will all be okay. She really helped me.”
I stop moving about the kitchen to smile with Riley over the blessing–two sisters praying, and she catches my eyes, laughter spilling.
“I’m so glad Zoe helped you.”
“She did, she surely did,” Riley says, and the words seem to soar.
On my way back from my morning run I had received a text from Zoe that said, Riley has some anxiety. I will be a little late, and that’s all. Late means I pick up our carpool buddy first. Late means Zoe forfeits her place in the front seat. Late means sometimes she barely has time left to brush her hair or grab a few things to eat for lunch. I knew when I read the text that I will be a little late really means, I love my sister more.
But it isn’t until now that I can see the two of them leaning into each other on the porch, praying over the chorus of birds, the breeze tying knots in their hair. It isn’t until now that I can see that their trusting God together has taken priority and significance over a litany of other trivia, that prayer has become a first thing instead of the only thing they have left.Two sisters praying can conquer the world. Click To Tweet
I see them huddled together–just there, with their eyes closed and their lips moving—and they look strong. Because they know the secret: all things through Him (Philippians 4:13).
It’s now, watching them, that I can see the way God has used anxiety—and autism, diabetes, epilepsy—to train us, strong and agile. He’s made us a family of fighters. When He says all things work together for good (Romans 8:28), it’s this training, this sculpting He means. No training is pleasant at the time, but later it produces a harvest…of peace (Hebrews 12:11). And on Riley’s face now, I see that harvest. This is the crazy-wild truth that makes it possible for us to consider it all joy when we face trials, the truth that perseverance will make us mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4). So, we turn and face the battle together, and we become warriors—more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Romans 8: 37).
“It is going to be okay, you know,” I say to Riley, just at the moment her eyes leave my face. And she looks up at me, and her eyes flash fierce, and she says, “Yes. I know.”A child of victory never lives in defeat. Click To Tweet