Love is Ö
By Dori Knight
My sister Dianne was almost four years old when I was born, and I grew up certain that she knew everything. I followed her around, pestered her with questions, and insisted on dressing exactly like her. It made her nuts.
What was even worse is that, like many older sisters, my mother often asked her to keep an eye on me. If I made a mess, Dianne had to clean it. If I wanted a story, Dianne had to read it. When I misbehaved, Dianne took the heat for it.
My adoration of my big sister didnít keep us from fighting, though; we still had our share of sibling rivalry going on. In fact, one time she picked up a Barbie doll that I wasnít done playing with yet, so I threw a brick at her head.
In my defense, I was only four years old at the time. The concept of gravity was fairly new, and I had not yet learned to multiply mass by velocity. In other words, had I known that a flying brick would break her nose, I probably would have just dropped it on her foot.
Oddly, I donít remember if my mother spanked me, though Iím certain she did. I do, however, remember how difficult it was to cough up those two little words, "Iím sorry."
I donít know what it is about little girls and Barbie Dolls, but my own daughters eventually grew into their Barbie genes. They collected quite a community of Barbie dolls, which they referred to as "The Sisters," and they played with them almost constantly.
The only doll they werenít interested in was Ken, which Connie had received as a gift. They called him "The Husband", stuck him in the doll box, where he stayed, alone and forgotten, for the better part of a year.
Then came a day when both sisters wanted The Husband, and a tug-of-war ensued. Before long, Barbie dolls were flying, voices were being raised, and two little girls were getting their feelings hurt. They stormed out of the room, tears in their eyes, in search of parental support.
"Mama, she wont let me have a turn with The Husband, and itís mine!" Connie cried.
"I was playing with him first, and she grabbed him out of my hand!" Victoria cried.
"Thatís enough, ladies," I interjected. "You need to calm down first, and apologize for hurting each otherís feelings." You might have thought that I asked them to walk to the moon.
"Iím sorry I hurt your feelings." Connie mumbled unintelligibly.
"Iím sorry I hurt your feelings, too." Victoria mumbled, equally unintelligibly.
"Victoria," I concluded, "let Connie have a turn, and in the future, keep your hands off your sisterís husband."
This, by the way, went on record as something that I hope never to have to say again, as long as I live.
Part of being an imperfect human is that we sometimes say and do stupid things. In fact, if humanity is measured by our stupidity, then I am more human than anyone I know.
Unfortunately, the things we do and say are sometimes hurtful to the people we love most. Perhaps we are angry at the time, or weíre hurt and lashing out, or maybe weíre just not thinking.
It helps to remember that our sins were known before the foundations of time, and that our debts were cancelled on a hilltop called Calvary. All we need do is accept that we are sinners, believe Christ died on the cross for us, and ask him into our lives.
I read a cartoon years ago that claimed, "Love is Ö never having to say youíre sorry." I can only assume this was written by someone who was raised by wolves, and who had no prior human contact.
Love is absolutely about having to say youíre sorry. Love is found in our willingness to ask forgiveness, and for the freeness in which it is given.
My children grew out of the Barbie stage a few years ago, and are now into cosmetics and clothes. One day, my daughters will be grown. I pray they will turn out to be wonderful friends. I pray they will always be able forgive as easily as they wish to be forgiven.
But most often, I pray whoever brings home the first husband makes sure he has a brother.
With this final article, it is my honor to turn the column over to the capable pen of author and humorist John Hunt. My thanks to FaithWritersí Magazine for the opportunity to work with such wonderful people, and to the readers for your loyal support Ė your encouraging letters touched me far deeper than youíll ever know. Readers will still be able to read my humor column on my personal website, at www.doriknight.com.
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