He gave a speech.
He thanked his teachers. He thanked his dad and me. He thanked the people giving him the award.
And then he thanked his twin sister. For their almost eighteen years together.
He paused, looked down, then said to her, “It’s hard to think of our possibly being separated next year for college.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
The rest of his speech was wonderful, but what would stick with me was that first part. About his sister.
In the womb? We didn’t even know there were two of them until the 34th week–they were born at 37. He, 7 lbs; she, 6.3. He, coal-black sideburns down to his chin, the doctor saying he already needed a shave; she, just as strikingly fair and blond, only wisps of fuzz atop her golden head. His coffee eyes to her cobalt blue. And while hers would later change to hazelnut green, her hair to golden brown, their contrasts would continue to complement each other. And those around them.
Even in the womb they were different (once I realized there were two to be different). He moved all day, jumping three ways a second. She lay quietly until she heard her daddy’s voice. Then she did jumping jacks.
Once they were born, they had their own language. “Twin Speak.” They’d sit in their high chairs, she, telling him stories while he ate. We had no idea what she was saying, but he did. He’d laugh, he’d cry, he’d laugh again—in between bites of food, of course. Then they’d switch chairs in mid-air, and, while he ate her food, she kept talking. It didn’t matter how far apart we separated their seats; somehow, they managed the same routine. In time, he switched to English first and kindly translated for her—and for us.
Yes, of course they fought. They are siblings, after all; they knew each other’s buttons and knew the most effective way to push them. She’s bubbly and energetic, while he’s quiet but knows how to plot a good tease. An example? He never wanted anyone to celebrate his birthday at school, so he’d tell everyone every day that it was his birthday…to the point that they never believed him. When their birthday really came and she announced it, everyone said, “Yeah, right.”
BUT… when a boy started showing my daughter unwanted attention, her twin brother stood up for her, even when the other guy turned that attention to bullying him.
Obviously as boy and girl, they are not identical twins. In fact, he’s heading to 6’3”, while she barely reaches 5’4”. But, on opposite sides of the classroom, they’ve come up with the same title for papers and the same topic for themes. Even the same phrases in their essays.
And I’m left thinking, “How’d you do that?” It’s something non-twins just can’t imagine.
But looking at my pair, thinking about how they are out of the same womb, from the same dad, with so much the same yet so different, it makes me appreciate my sisters and brothers in Christ.
We aren’t the exact same. We have different abilities, different talents, different gifts. We may look very different, with different skin colors, different hair color, different likes and dislikes. BUT….
Who can explain the connection between us? In Christ, we are twins. Or triplets. Or whatever word equates to Revelation 7:9’s “great multitude which no one can count.” (Okay, for those of you who need things accurate, since we aren’t necessarily born at the same time, let’s just go with “brothers and sisters.”) In Christ, we have been re-born into the same family with God as our Father and Christ as our brother—all through the same womb of Christ’s death and resurrection…which, back to the twin idea, actually DID happen for all of us on the same day, once and for all, for all who would believe.
We have our own language. Granted, on an earthly level, some of us speak German, some Spanish, some Korean. And my midwestern-English-speaking kids are pretty sure I’m speaking another language when my Southern accent comes out. (What’d you say??) Those differences all came about with Genesis 11’s Tower of Babel.
But with the gift of the Holy Spirit, we in Christ have a common tongue, our own “twin speak.”
Yes, sometimes we need to be more careful with our “Christianese” when we are trying to reach others and bring them into our family, but I’m not necessarily talking about words and phrases. I’m talking about a language of the soul and spirit. Not “speaking in tongues,” but a spiritual connection that only Christ can give—such that you can meet a Christian brother or sister for the first time and still have deep and wonderful things to talk about.
The rest of the world just can’t understand it.
Do we always get along? No. We ARE siblings, after all, and we suffer in our old natures.
In fact, sadly, sometimes we need reminders that we ARE siblings. In those moments, as the world looks on, it’s easy to make them wonder if our “birthday” really exists at all. But when we return to our Father’s lap and He reminds us who we are in His grace, we love each other in a way that again defies the world’s logic—and makes them long to be one of us.
Hebrews 2:11-12, “For indeed He who sanctifies and we who are sanctified all have the same Father, and so Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters.”
Is there a dry eye in the room?
If the very Lord of lords, the God of the Universe, has made us brother and sister, it’s a family made in heaven…even if we in our cluelessness don’t realize it at times.
In His grace, He’s made us to complement each other in our gifts. Not “compliment,” all though that’s good, too. (Isn’t it sweet to hear your brother or sister say how much they like something you’ve done?!) But I’m talking about complementing, where your strengths support me in my weakness and my strengths support you in your weaknesses… Heavens, if we were both strong in all the same things, you wouldn’t need me, right?
And when we’re both weak?
Well, we’re there to remind each other that Christ, our Perfect Brother, is really the strong one.
Matthew 25:40: “And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’” Together. Iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17), the strong three-corded strand (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister” (Matthew 12:50). Jesus’ words, Written in Red. Not with ink, but with His blood, shed for us. Creating His family.
In the end, because my twins both loved the school, they did end up choosing the same college. They don’t see tons of each other, but he has found times to encourage her, to protect her, and yes, to tease her. And when a particular young man showed interest in her, her brother was not averse to employing a little counterintelligence spying to be sure of the gentleman’s character. *wink* Ya’ gotta love it!
While I will never know that incredible bond between a girl and her twin brother, I am so thankful for the one with my “multiples” in Christ. They are there for me regularly in actions and, yes, in speech—Encouraging, protecting, sometimes teasing, but most of all, pointing me to my perfect Brother, Jesus Christ, who made us a family in the first place.
And He and I?—Thank you, Jesus!—I never have to think about our being separated.
Like more information about this family that I’ve described? I’d love to talk with you…
- Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or contact me through Facebook: @lessonsinthelittlethings.
There’s room for you at our family table!