12. being or considered a sister; related by or as if by sisterhood: sister ships.13. having a close relationship with another because of shared interests, problems, or the like.
I have been undeniably blessed by precious women in my life. Some close family, some that lived before my time, some have rubbed me hard smoothing away jagged edges, some young, some old, some who know my heart deeply and still love me, some I've never met. But all sharing a common relation, fellowship birthed from the blood of Jesus. Sweet family, a gift. These women have so energized my Christian walk I just had to introduce some of them to you. (I hope you will post a comment and tell me about the women who have blessed your life.)
This week's sister:
She was coated in a caramel, black, soft brown and creamy white coat. A good mouser, loud purrer, nap taker. Phern, for years, was my best friend. The little calico, along with her tuxedoed companion, wandered up the day before our move. For two days we searched the neighborhood for their owners, finding none, we claimed them. For eleven years she stayed with me.
I realize Phern doesn't fit the above description of sister in the strictest sense. However, she certainly was a gift, she accompanied my quiet time with Jesus and I was blessed by her love. Actually, Phern was better than many people I've known and taught me a great deal. She lived out fully what she was made to be. Tender and gentle, she was the best cat I've ever known, and I've known some. Phern was the picture of compassion. Hearing me cry during my adolescent and teen years she would come down the hall, calling me, jump on the bed, nuzzle my face, lick my tears and settle down in my lap purring loudly. She offered me herself. Less like a stand-offish independent cat, she was more like a mother. If I was out of her sight for too long she would call me, chortling as a mother cat would for her baby's.
There are moments in my life, looking back, that clearly are accented by a God gift. My dear Phern girl was one of them. I've always been touched that God saw a girl needing extra love and sent a friend. I met Phern when I was eleven. Loving me until I was raised and gone, she died a month after I was married. Heart sick, I grieved her for a long time. Even now tears rise, unbidden.
Interestingly, for years I've had dreams about Phern at important, painful, distressing times of my life. When my children were born I had dreams about her, during some moves, in my most lonely times, she's sashayed into my dreams. I don't know if deep in my mind I'm looking for comfort, casting back to those vulnerable years when she soothed my young soul. Or, if God is reminding me, he's the one who sees my hurts and gives good gifts. Either way, I'm always glad to see her again, a sweet ache all at once.
Her familiar, furry memory visited me last night. I hold to the knowledge that God has seen me before and he sees me now. He knows my need. He's the God who is here with me, giving good gifts. Phern reminds me once again.