The other day I had the privilege of seeing Hannah, one of my favorite six-year-olds. She and her mom and I were together for a girls’ day out, and as always, Hannah delighted me with her joy for life—telling me her latest knock-knock jokes, impressing me with the new words she knew how to spell, and catching me up on all the big first grade news that had happened since I saw her last.
I’ll never forget six year ago when Hannah’s mom, one of my dear friends, called me after she got her ultrasound results. “Guess what we’re having?” she asked me with that trademark mischief in her voice.
I was confident: “A girl!”
“Yes . . .” There was an, er, pregnant pause.
“And a boy! We’re having twins!
Aside from their tow-headedness, Hannah and Josiah are as different as can be—she loves to read; he loves to build things. She likes to play princess; he likes to play engineer. But you couldn’t find a pair of siblings more loyal than these two.
We were at the store together, and Hannah’s mom let her choose a movie to buy. After carefully scanning the options, she opted for a case covered in pink glitter and hugged it to her chest. We were headed to the checkout line when Hannah paused mid-step. “Mom, I can’t get this one,” she said, her eyes wide. “I don’t think Josiah would like this one.” She promptly returned the movie to the shelf and made a more boy-friendly selection.
I raised my eyebrows and looked at my friend, impressed. Most first-grade princesses I know would rub their brother’s nose in such a victory and never look back.
“She’s always watching out for her brother,” Hannah’s mom told me. “Whenever we go to the bank and get a lollipop, she makes sure to get one for her brother too. She never wants him to miss out on something.”
Just a few days later, I read the account of Moses and his siblings in the book of Numbers. Apparently Aaron and Miriam were razzing him about his choice of a wife (Numbers 12:1-2). God was none too happy about their whining, and he struck Moses’ sister with a skin disease.
Moses’ response fascinates me: he didn’t act justified; he didn’t say, “I told you so.” Instead, he responded with the grace of intercession. He begged God on behalf of the sister who just moments earlier had been giving him grief: “Moses cried out to the LORD, ‘O God, I beg you, please heal her!’” (Numbers 12:13).
When my brothers and sisters in Christ are in trouble, what’s my response? Do I think, Well, they got what was coming to them? Or do I step in before our Father and intercede on their behalf?
In other words, will I be content with my own lollipop, or will I humble myself to beg for one on my sibling’s behalf as well?
I hope someday I’ll be a little more like Hannah.
I’ve taken the challenge of reading the Bible chronologically this year and tracing the thread of grace through it. These musings are prompted by my reading. I’d love to have you join me: One Year Bible reading plan.