In The Cleft Of The Rock

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Her hand covered my eyes. I remember it now as if it hadn’t happened over 40 years ago. I could only see sunlight through the separation in her fingers. Rosy bits of light illuminating the outer edges of her skin. I was sleepy and yet I was fascinated by the way the light moved around her fingers. It was mesmerizing like watching a muted kaleidoscope.

I wondered if she could feel my eyelashes - feathering as I opened and closed my eyes against the inside of her hand. I blinked several times, creating my own sister Morse code, to see if she would react to the downy sensation.

She didn’t.

We were in the front seat of an old, green Chevy Impala. I’m not sure why I can recall what type of car it was but I was the baby in the family and Daddy’s tom-boy. I loved the time spent with him when he tinkered with our cars.

Our mother was driving but I don’t remember where we were going. My body curled on the bench seat, my toes barely touching my mother’s thigh. My head rested in my sister’s lap with her hand covering my eyes from the afternoon sun. I remember being so tired and wanting to go to sleep but uncomfortable as the sun stung my eyes. Leslie told me to put my head on her lap and she would cover my eyes. It’s one of my earliest memories of her loving me.

My sister is 8 years older than me and the middle sister in a set of three girls. We haven’t always agreed and we haven’t always gotten along but there are differences in who we are and who we’ve become that I’ve come to love. It still amazes me how siblings can be raised in the same house yet different personalities and truths emerge.

As an adult, I think of her now, this moment, today. That car ride with her hand over my eyes and the Bible verse, Exodus 33:22. (NIV) When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.

Leslie loves our Lord. Today my heart goes to her across all the miles that separate us. I wish I could cover her eyes and hold her head in my lap and show her how I can love too. We can know that the light of God is too much for us but He places us in safety, passes by during the struggles and trials of our life, and allows us to glance at His Glory through the protection of His hands.

Just as the sun stings our eyes when we look directly at it, God’s presence is too much for us, but His grace allows us to know that He is there.

And He IS there. He is with you Sister.

Little did I know, that this story would begin over 4 decades ago when I pressed my head into my sister’s lap and she covered my eyes with her hands. I was meant to feel that comfort, just as she is meant to feel the protection of our Lord right now.

For my sister. 
Published with her permission.