Loss is a part of life. One of the significant losses of Sojourner’s life was not having grown up with her sisters and brothers. She was so young when the last two were sold to another slave owner that she didn’t have any memories, just the stories her mother told her. However, the hope she held in her heart rewarded her with a surprise reunion.
After 1834, Sojourner moved back into New York City and, with her children, attended the Zion Church. She met a woman named Sophia that looked a lot like her, and when they explored the resemblance, they found they were siblings.
This reunion was an overwhelming experience for Sojourner, marked by tears and lots of emotion. It brought back memories of her mother and father and the pain of slavery. Another younger sibling, Michael, had been sold simultaneously as Sophia, and he was also a member of the Zion Church. This unplanned family reunion was a surprising moment for all of them. They hugged, cried, and shared their experiences.
Her siblings told Sojourner was told of another sister, Nancy, who had recently died.
She had also been a member of the Zion Church, and Sojourner had known her, but not known that they were related. Sojourner did not pick up on any family resemblance. It was astounding to think she had sat with, sang with, and interacted with a woman who was actually her sister. Peter, Sojourner’s son, was delighted to have more family, and Sojourner was amazed at the way God answered her prayers by leading her to the Zion Church.
Sojourner learned a valuable lesson when she met her lost siblings: That God was directing her life and always working to answer her prayers. Sojourner was already a woman of faith, but this experience deepened it further. It also brought her much joy to be with her family. Her mother’s words that “things will get better” echoed in her memory.
For us, the family is vital. How we bond with our parents and siblings, whether we learn to build healthy relationships, and if we can put differences aside and have an enjoyable experience is of the essence. We must stay open and be forgiving. We must mend fences while our loved ones are still alive.
- Do I have sisters and brothers that I have not seen for a while?
- Am I holding grudges or not willing to forgive a sister or brother?
- Do I have sisters or brothers that I don’t even know?
- Have I tried to rectify an estranged relationship with a sibling or friend?
“Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews 13:1-6
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Peter 4:8