For my little sister and the young men who try to be with her…

I’m at least a decade older than you, which puts me in a totally different generation, I think. I don’t even understand my own generation, let alone yours. For one thing, I grew up with both a father and a mother who love each other, have stuck together, and have loved me dearly. That’s more than many in my generation can say, and it’s more than some in your generation can even imagine. When I think of this, I weep for joy at the great blessing I have received and with deep sorrow for the great pain that I see many others carrying who were not so blessed.

That’s not really what I’m writing about here, though. There’s a more fundamental difference between you and me in the way that we communicate. When I was in junior high and high school, cell phones were still pretty rare. This was before Twitter, before Facebook, before Myspace– almost even before Google, if you can wrap your mind around that! Thus, when I wanted to tell a girl that I liked her, I pretty much had to do so face-to-face, preferably in at least one complete sentence. From junior high throughout most of high school, there was one girl who was very special to me, and when I asked her out, she turned me down. We were friends and kept in touch, though, mostly through letters that we both wrote by hand and would take sometimes as long as a few days to reach the other person after they were sent in the mail. I read every word she wrote very carefully, and I considered very carefully every word that I wrote in response to her, too.

 …actually, that’s not exactly what I wanted to write about here, either.

 My oldest little sister was born in my first year of junior high. I was home-schooled for most of high school, so I was at home most of the time while she was growing up. In a lot of ways, I felt like a second father to her. When Dad was out of town on business trips during the week, I kinda was a second father. I fed her, changed her diapers, punished her when she was bad (and then told her how much I still loved her, and held her close until she quit throwing her fit), gave her piggy back rides, danced with her… Some of the most precious moments of my life to date were when it was time for her afternoon nap and she would fall asleep in my arms on the couch.

One day, when I was about fifteen and she was about two, a song came on the radio. (There weren’t iPods back then.) She ran in playful, giggling circles around me as that song played, and I remember thinking to myself while I sat there on the living room floor, “Cherish this moment. She will grow up too fast.” It took me years to figure out what the song was– it didn’t have any words, so it was hard to find– but every time I hear it, I think of that precious, giggling little girl. She was still too young to talk. Now, she is the same age that I was then, and she’s growing up fast. I hope that I can dance with her to this song on her wedding day.

I remember one summer day when we were playing in the front yard, she stepped on an ant hill in the front yard. They were stinging ants, and before I knew it, she was covered in them. This was still before she could speak, so all she could do was cry. I sprayed them off of her with the water hose, then poured out swift, watery vengeance upon the ant hill. I was furious that they had touched my precious little sister. In Japan, they have a saying: 悪い虫が付かないようにする。 “Keep the bad bugs away.”

To my sister: I know you’re not that little girl anymore, but I still love you more than words can say. You’re not that little girl anymore, so if you love someone, you can say it to me. I want to hear all about it. I’ll try not to judge him too harshly, even though he could obviously never be good enough for you. (I hope you never get it into your head that you are too good for a good guy, though.) I pray that God will give you wisdom to stay away from ant hills, but if you ever need help keeping the 悪い虫 away, I hope you will tell me about that, too.

To the young men: I know it may be hard for you to believe, but you are worth far more than my sister’s opinion of you. It may be hard for you to believe, but if you just want to matter to somebody, there is a God Who made the world, and you matter to Him. Whether you are playing with my sister’s heart to gain her affection because you just want to matter to somebody, or you want to be by her side for the rest of your life to love, protect, and provide for her, you are worth far more than my sister’s opinion of you. If you are special to my sister and she is special to you, I am happy for you and hope that we can talk sometimes. If you are looking for significance through a girl, however, I am sad for you and hope that God will show you that you are worth so much more than that– and so is my sister, so don’t treat her like crap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *