You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘sisterhood’ tag.

When my niece was just a tiny thing — four, maybe five — we went to Disneyland together. Spotting a cast member (that’s Disney-speak for “employee”) dressed up like Jack Sparrow from “The Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, surrounded by (mostly female) fans, Sami piped up, “Captain Jack has quite the entourage.” Of course we laughed. What child that age says “entourage”? But of course she was right.

The other day, a lady I met at church phoned me about a party she was hosting. “Bring your girlfriends!” she suggested. I found myself conjuring up a fantasy life for myself, one where “me and the girls” went places together (possibly even during the week), drank wine liberally, chatted about the latest twist on our must-see TV shows. This vision lasted all of three seconds. Then I found myself awkwardly explaining that this was not, in fact, my life. Unlike Captain Jack, I do not have “quite the entourage.”

My friends are long-term and loyal. And few. One of them has been my “BFF” since fifth grade. Another has seen me through 30 years of living — I was the first person she called after she had her first child. My sisters-in-law are fully sisters to me. Our closest “couple friends” are, and have always been, my brother and his wife, Jennifer (parents of the aforementioned Sami). I consider Ruth and SueBE, with whom I share this blog, some of dearest friends…and I have never met either in person. The friend I talk to most lives in Indianapolis. I live in Kansas.

I often think it would be nice to have an ebullient, enthusiastic pack of friends who wanted to go out into the world with me and just have fun. But I realize I was not built for such things. I’m a homebody. I prefer books to parties. Like Greta Garbo, I “vant to be alone.” And that’s okay. Having fewer friends doesn’t mean I prize them any less. In fact, I cling to them.

You know who did have “quite the entourage”? Jesus. Mounds of people followed him. But he designated just 12 as apostles. And of the 12, we hear mostly of a chosen few: Peter, John, James, Andrew. Even fewer actually have speaking roles in the Gospels. Mostly, it’s Peter, the lug-head, who says something profound followed immediately by something profoundly stupid. And yet Christ built a church on him.

Jesus accepts us as we are, introvert or extrovert, mystics and simpletons. But what’s beautiful is that we all have the opportunity to be close to him — as close as any human beings can possibly be and more so. Your relationship with him can be deeply intimate. So can mine. With Jesus, there’s no need for an entourage. You’ve got all you need in one person.

Human beings are such touchy-feely creatures. I think that’s why God gave us friends. Certainly, all of my friends have moved my spiritual journey along in wise and wonderful ways. They are, in a word, good people. They are of God. Maybe that’s not the litmus test for everybody’s friendships, but it is for mine. Maybe quality, not quantity, counts in the end. Anyway, I’m grateful. Thanks, friends.

“Donna Summer is dead,” my friend Alice lamented. “So soon after David Cassidy!”

“David Cassidy is not dead,” I argued. But Ann backed Alice up.

“No way. If David Cassidy were dead I would know it. IN MY HEART!” insisted Judy, rushing to confirm or deny the report on her Blackberry.

Judy and I were, of course, correct. David Cassidy isn’t dead. Alice and Ann confused him with Davy Jones. (Although how one confuses the cutest Monkee with the cutest Partridge, I’ll never know!) And we all had a big laugh.

That’s how it goes with sisterhood. You argue. You laugh. You love. I was reminded of the power of sisterhood this past weekend. I attended my silver anniversary college reunion — 25 years since graduation. You know what I noticed? We mix better now. There are no more divisions: Education majors and Music majors don’t have their own tables anymore. As we’ve grown up, we’ve grown together. Differences matter less or not at all.

What else I noticed: We are brave. Most of us have faced some pretty tough things in our lives by this point — illness or death of parents, our own health problems. And guess what? We are stronger now than we ever thought we might be. And the source of that strength is twofold: faith and sisterhood, our bonds on this earth and our bonds with our God, who sustains and carries us through good times and bad.

The two are linked, inexorably, for sisterhood is a gift from God. It is His way of embracing us in the very real and human way we so badly need. God made us flesh for a reason. Flesh is so very comforting. We need that comfort.

So there was a lot of hugging over the weekend, a lot of nearness. I know that there are people who are uncomfortable with the touch of others, and I feel for them. To touch and be touched is a reminder of our common humanity. We are all one. We are all connected. God made us so.

And so it is that the weekend passed. It was a powerful reminder of the power of sisterhood, a power that is different from other connections. There is, in our sharing with other women, a very real and concrete strengthening. God made us, men and women. Only sisters can authentically understand what it is to be a woman in the world today. And if those women are women of faith, the power they can have in our lives expands exponentially, limitlessly. God bless our sisters.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

%d bloggers like this: