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Sister, Stronger

I saw a girl, many times before,
As I walked life’s winding road.
We never spoke, but I was glad she came.
Even strangers can help lift a heavy load.
Her hair, like fine-spun copper
Gleamed in the last of evening’s light.
Her eyes, blue-green and peaceful,
Shimmered like the ocean at moonbeam’s night.
I caught a glimpse
Of a squinty smile,
The long remnant of a summertime laugh,
While she danced and ran without a worry
Of whom or what might cross her path.

This unknown girl made my life seem brighter
Each time she bounced across my way.
Her presence gave my soul relief
And I longed for her to stay.
She did not seem to fear the dark
Or the loss of another year.
She progressed as though she knew the way,
Looking back to keep me near.
She moved with ease.
Not like me!
I trudged through life, so slow.
Many trips, many falls, hoping no one saw
Yet never far from this child I did not know.

It wasn’t long before I stumbled again.
I fell to the ground and cried out in pain.
I decided to stay there in the road,
Too tired for further gain.
Soon the girl arrived and offered her hand
“Please let me help; your wounds are deep.”
“Leave me here,” I answered back,
The path is too hard and I’m very weak.”
‘That’s why I’m here!
I’ve been waiting for you to reach this very point
Where you can go alone, no longer.
I’ve been traveling with you, I’m not a stranger.
I am your Sister, Stronger.”

As she helped me up and brushed me off
I studied my curious companion.
Soon our gazes met, and to my surprise,
I saw an obvious reflection!
The same blue-green eyes and squinty smile
I once beheld in mirrors long ago,
Looked up at me as if to say,
I am not a child you do not know!
I startled back,
Then glanced once more
At this pair as different as day and night.
Could it be this child is me
Before sorrow stole my light?

“I am your Sister, Stronger
A guide to lead you home.
I am the child of God within you
For you have never been alone.
I have remained deep within your heart
Untouched by the harm of age,
To bring you back to your Father’s arms
And free you from this orphan cage.
So here’s my hand,
We’re together now
On this journey to the Son.
His cross of grace, now crimson stained
Is where your eternal life was won.”

Sister held my hand through fields of flowers.
We stopped to smell each one.
I had forgotten how lovely the passage could be
When you allow both joy and fun.
Then at meadow’s edge we came upon
A forest so dense and looming.
We both stood knowing we had to go
Though my thoughts had turned quite gloomy.
“Don’t be afraid,”
Sister smiled and said,
“When danger lurks around the bend.
Our Father sees our every need.
On him we can depend!”

I marched ahead with confidence,
Which quickly faded with the light.
The path, now covered by thorns and thicket,
Vanished from my sight.
Animals prowled and nipped my heels,
Eager for an easy kill.
I was certain this would be my end,
That darkness would prevail.
“Don’t give up!
You are almost there,”
Sister called from a tree line break,
“You must risk the grip of unwanted pain
To leave it in your wake.”

After fighting through the tangled brush
We came upon a welcomed clearing,
Where the amber sun cast a warming hue
At twilight’s first appearing.
A man in white stood patient and kind
As I cautiously drew near.
Sister nodded me on, then spoke these words:
“We are finally here.
Your Savior awaits!
He has called you home.
Now rest in his embrace.
Let him bind up your wounds and carry your shame.
Receive his gift of grace!”

His arms opened wide and I waited no more
To be held by Love so true.
This spotless lamb had endured the cross
So I could be made new.
“Welcome home, Beloved,” he softly spoke,
“You are now safe and free
To shed the armor upon your heart
And live in peace with me.
Sister helped you along
When you didn’t feel strong
On this redemption trek, so wild.
Still you answered my call to repent and believe.
Well done, my faithful child!”

Melissa Osterloo

A wife to Adam, a mother to Sam, the third of seven siblings, and a friend to more than I deserve.

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