Tuesday, November 16, 2010

thoughts.

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Over at Housewife on Fire this week, I've made a goal to read the scriptures for at least 15 minutes every day. I originally planned to do so during one of Tennyson's many naps...but realized after "day one" of the new goal being in place, that... I never got around to it! Life, and messy entry ways, and closets, and dishes have a way of, well, getting in the way of things. So, I decided to modify the goal to "Study scriptures for 15 minutes first thing in the morning and last thing at night." It is working better. It's also trickling into the rest of my day. When I read them first thing in the morning, I'm reminded of how good they make me feel. Then, as the day goes on, I am pulled back to the scriptures, and other pieces of uplifting literature, that enable me to continue on that high.

Today, while reading last April's Conference talks, I stumbled upon President Uchtdorf's Priesthood Session talk titled: "You Are My Hands" (Wow, I love that title.)

I have two favorite sections from it.
The first one is:

"A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.

Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was—a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: “You are my hands.” "

and later he says:

"I am not suggesting that we accept sin or overlook evil, in our personal life or in the world. Nevertheless, in our zeal, we sometimes confuse sin with sinner, and we condemn too quickly and with too little compassion. We know from modern revelation that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe. Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father. Once we understand that, we can begin to understand how we should treat our fellowmen.

One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrow said through her tears, “I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill—crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much and even though I have been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.”" {emphasis added}

His kind, inspired words really had me thinking and I am now going to share a random slew of thoughts straight out of my brain here, in this little blog-a-log:

While I don't make a habit of judging or condemning other people, I feel that all too often, I overlook them. This is not in reference to "sinners" so much as people in general. When President Uchtdorf referred to all of God's children as VIPs in His eyes, the first thought that came to mind was:

How much do I love my boys? (Answer: So much that I cannot even find words in the English language that are fit to adequately express it.)

This then begs the question:

How much would it mean to me if someone reached out and helped, and lifted them up when I could not? (Answer:
So much that I cannot even find words in the English language that are fit to adequately express it.)

Well, every person on this earth is somebody's child. Somebody gave birth to that person, and deeply loves that person the way that I love my children. And while they can love their child like a mother of father, it is my job to love and care for their child like a friend and neighbor - just the way that I will be praying someone will love and look out for my boys when they are in college, and on missions, and traveling the world, and newly married and living out of state...or even further than that... or what have you. We are l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y. the Lord's hands. This is no light thing.

This then makes me think:
A few weeks ago, I finally caught up with a friend who I really love. She is fun, and bubbly, and cute, and kind, and generally awesome in every way. I haven't seen much of her lately because I have been in baby la la land. Well, about 10 seconds into our conversation, she tells me that her husband moved out two months ago...and I am dumbstruck. How could I NOT have known? I felt terrible that I hadn't been there for her when she could have used extra support. (She is wonderful, so it comes as no surprise that she has lots of friends, and technically doesn't "need" lil' old me, but honestly - TWO MONTHS and I was still clueless? c'mon!)

I know that I am a mom, and that I have a thousand other things on my plate, and no, I'm not going to beat myself up for not coming to the rescue of every single person in a 2 mile radius that could benefit from my assistance, (because seriously, that's just counter-productive...) but I AM going to do a little better.

I'm going to sincerely listen when I ask people how they are doing.
I'm going to pray for guidance, and then drop what I'm doing and LISTEN when I get a feeling that says I need to call someone, or take someone cookies, or drop by...

This is really scary for me.
I have an amazing ability where I can talk myself out of almost anything.
"You are just bugging them."
"It will be awkward."
"It's not your place."
"Blah blah blah."
"Insert negative, and ultimately untrue sentence here: ____________"

But I'm just going to listen to the first part.
The part that tells me there is something I can/should do.
I'm going to start there.
And at least it will be an improvement.

I really loved that part about the $20 bill.
I don't think I've ever heard such an eloquent expression of personal worth.

We are all worth the full $20 - regardless of our pasts, regardless of wear.
What a beautiful thing that is.

*You can go here to read all of President Uchtdorf's talk.

5 comments:

Barbaloot said...

I feel the same way:)

"Miss Kris" said...

Thank you Laura. I needed to 'hear' that.

Life with Kaishon said...

I never heard either of those stories and I just love them. Thank you for sharing them today. I have not been reading the bible lately and I really need to start. I am going to lay mine beside my bed so I can read it in the morning before I go to work.

The Meyer Family said...

The words are true, but mostly I just wanted to say, "How sweet is that sleeping baby?!!" Angelic. Really, actually angelic. And you're right. We're all like that, except more crumpled and dirty-literally and figuratively. Thanks!

Jen Nelson said...

LOVE this!! I actually gave a sacrament meeting talk about that talk!

And oh my gosh your poor friend!!! Can I help?? :( I've been through a separation/divorce so I've been there!!

There is someone that I would like to strangle today so reminding me that they are a child of Heavenly Father is helping me not drive to their work so I can stab them.

Thanks for the reminder :)