I sat across the table from two of my favorite sisters. Not my actual sisters, but two sisters that I hang out with every now and then. One is in high school, and the other is in elementary school. Their parents are my friends, but my friendships with them stand alone. I enjoy hanging out with them, listening to them, and encouraging them.
Like most sisters, sometimes they get annoyed with each other. Sometimes it’s intentional; other times, it’s just their moods or poor timing. Then there are the times they laugh together, share memories, and encourage or forgive each other.
When we were recently together, the oldest wanted to see a movie. The youngest didn’t. But she said she’d go if the oldest could answer just five “easy” questions. I instantly knew the oldest was in trouble, because I had been on the receiving end of “easy” questions this elementary student could ask. She is a fan of geography and world facts, and she can easily stump me.
As expected, the younger asked questions the older sister couldn’t answer, but she also extended the game several times in order to give her additional chances. Eventually, the questions got easy enough and the rules were loosened enough that the requirements were met. To the movie they would go.
But when I texted the oldest later that evening to ask how the movie was, she said they didn’t go. She could tell her sister really didn’t want to go so she didn’t make her.
We sometimes want to make someone jump through hoops. We sometimes make it harder than it needs to be. We sometimes get gentle and make it easier on them. We sometimes get our way but see that it’s more important to let someone else get her way.
We sometimes put grace and compassion into practice. And they were intended to be in practice instead of in theory.