I watch her eyes follow her big sister. The Dove observes the Firefly and everything comes earlier because she’s been watching. The talking, the crawling, the climbing, the walking all come before I’m ready and I’m unprepared for the surprise. At about 10 months, she begins playing dress up. She’s watched her big sister clothe herself in the costume gowns and necklaces, and Dove begins that early too. She brings a hat to her Daddy one evening, and indulging her, he places it on her head. She gives us a look of excited curiosity and crawls, quick as lightning, to the over-sized mirror in our hallway. She looks at her reflection and smiles, satisfied. My Man and I look at each other in nervous disbelief. 10 months old and she’s already doing this?! She’s been watching someone . . . and Firefly cannot possibly fathom her effect.
And you can learn a lot about a man by studying his beloved, can’t you? She is his reflection and sometimes his mirror, but you learn what he values and how he loves and things he won’t necessarily tell you himself.
And I wonder.
His bride is far from perfect and she is cleansed, but still being sanctified, so for this analogy, you have to ignore her dust-propensities . . . but what of her beauty? What does the earthly Bride tell us of the Heavenly Groom?
And I watch as Dove watches her sister. She tries to keep up with her and she tries to mimic her and she tries to learn of life from her . . . maybe she learns more from her big sister than she does from her parents?
Like Dove, I watch and learn. I learn from you, dear sisters.
I watch a young woman as she and her husband anguish in their infertility. They cling to the Life-Bringer and hope shimmers. They cling to each other and love is sown. I learn from my little sister.
I watch a friend struggle for unity with her husband as they seek God’s plan for their family. She waits. They find unity where least expected. I study this.
I watch a daughter of the King wrestle lies of being unlovable, abandoned and alone. She wields the sword of truth and she is a warrior. She teaches me.
I watch a woman of faith contend with her husband’s unfaithfulness. Within herself, she daily fights for her marriage, forgiving again and again the bleeding wounds to her soul. She illuminates. I watch her.
I learn from you, my sisters. I am just one in the cloud of witnesses, watching you run your race.
I toddle, arms outstretched.