I wished I could see you, to celebrate your birthday with you. I cannot remember the last time I was with you on your birthday.
I also wished I could find a picture of just-you-and-me-together when we were kids, but I don't have one and cannot even recall seeing one.
So, I will make a picture the old-fashioned way: with imagination. Here is what I see in you and you-and-me, my lovely sister.
I see a smile springing from laughter. This is joy, the joy of the Lord, radiating.
There is a small lit candle in this picture. The flame stands fixed, yet free. Just so, the woman is warm and brings light. And I imagine—I can see—your eyes, alive.
I see strength and a family born from faith and ruthless trust. I see a woman of persevering hope. She prays and gives. Her hands are well-worn.
I see a woman who dreams. She sees possibility when others are trapped. She is a picture of dignity, I can tell.
I see a soft heart. Her aspect is tender with mercy.
I see this woman now as a girl who loves her little brother like she was his mother. She nurses him back to health. She’s there when he learns to crawl and walk again.
So I see myself with you today. I am a boy with white curls and you are with me, sitting beside me. The boy has no idea what he would do without you and he takes this for granted most of the time. But not in this picture.
In this picture, the boy grows up to thank God for your life.