When Carmen Miller lined her children up for a lickin’ when they were kids, I stood in line and took my medicine, too. Her children – the little hooligans I write about in The Cows of Hobson’s Pond series – were all my age so she just seemed like a Mom and not a sister. I was thirty-five years old before I realized Carmen was my sister and not another mother.
But we made a transition from parent/child to sister/brother and, then, best of all, best of friends.
She was with me on my first trip to Nicaragua when a starving five-year-old girl asked me to feed her. She was the first person I told that I wanted to spend the rest of my life feeding hungry people.
She was with me on numerous trips to Nicaragua where we provided food and medical treatment for thousands of people.
“It’s really big, baby, it’s really big. God’s plans for you are really big.” Carmen has breathed that into my soul for over two decades now.
She was with me when I came up with the idea of packaging meals for the hungry. She was with me when we engaged 120,000 volunteers to package 20 million meals for the Haiti disaster in 2010. We were at one event where a thousand people were in an arena packaging meals and she gave me a hug and said, “I’ve been saying, it’s really big, baby, it’s really big.”
She’s the first person (after my wife) I gave the draft of my novel, Voices on the Prairie.
I spent twenty-years in the ministry talking to people about how much God loves them, but I never really felt it in my heart until I started hanging around my sister. If you know her, you know she loves you. I’ve heard her say to the some of the biggest rascals on earth, “I don’t care where you’ve been, but I love you and care about who you are and who God wants you to be.”
I’ve read some of the greatest minds of history that have expounded on the nature of God and can say without question that I have learned more about the love of God by watching my sister than I have any other preacher, prophet, or poet. She lives the love of God.
I call her up and read her all my blogs before I post them; it’s the highlight of my day. Everyone should have as big a fan in their life as I do in my sister. I want to be to others what she is to me; one who simply makes others better by believing the good about them.
And now I’m with her. She was in Wenatchee, Washington, visiting her daughter when an emergency surgery discovered she had a tumor on her colon.
I read this one to her and we both cried.
We both wept as I held her hands and prayed for her.
When I’m asked about the top three people of history that I would like to meet, Jesus is always my first answer.
As I prayed for Carmen, I realize I’ve already seen Jesus; my sister looks just like him.
The photo in this blog is of Carmen caring for a dying woman in a poor village in Nicaragua.
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