The details are too long and personal to relay here, but they are scary and dark, and her light shines so bright now in comparison to them. She is an artist as she always was, strikingly gorgeous and full of life. She is quick to laugh and to forgive and to serve, and she plays with her nephew like there is nothing on earth she would rather be doing. Almost 5 years ago, when she came back up to earth, she decided to get a tattoo to say something about everything she had survived and all she had been delivered from. It's a sparrow; a sign that God was there watching her all along. She and my mom, an artist too, designed it together and a few months later they designed the version of it that is permanently stamped onto my left foot.
Originally, I got the tattoo to say something to my little sister who had been through so much, something like "I love you" or "I'll always be here" but in a way that words could not. I also wanted to say something kind to myself because I am a woman of few talents, but sistering is one of them. I have loved and bossed and
Now, four years later, the sparrow says those things and something more, too. Most days, what is says most loudly is "Miracles happen, in profound and complicated ways." In the midst of this prolonged season of doubt, the sparrow reminds me of all the deeply personal and unlikely stories I've been blessed to witness in my short life, stories like my sister's, that I simply can't explain apart from my hunch that God is real.