Yesterday was a hard day for me. It was my mother's birthday. She would have been 90. After more than 20 years I still miss her. I went to the cemetery with my dad where he too shed some tears and told me it doesn't get any easier and he has been thinking about her a lot lately.
Then came the news that a dear friend was in the hospital for emergency bypass surgery. He is my age. Reality check.
Then the shootings. Got a text from daughter that her friends lived there and their daughter was "unaccounted for". The rest of the day was spent in tears as the reality became apparent that young Emilie was a victim. I know these people. This is my grandson's little friend. They had been to my home. My heart just ached. I know the Plan of Salvation. I looked at so many random things. The family had recently moved there to this particular town, she attended that particular school, was in that particular room. Her grandfather, Alyssa's dad had died just a couple of months earlier in a freak bike accident in Utah. One article I read mentioned that Emmie was probably sitting on her grandfather's lap and he would hold her and help her. My heart aches for the parents who must now go through this life without their daughter. How just one moment alters everything.
These past few weeks I have been immersed in our church's annual Nativity Festival. I am the director of this event. It lasts for 5 days. This year we displayed 840 nativities and had about 4100 people who attended. It is a huge undertaking and there are many long hours spent to make something of this magnitude happen. But my heart has focused on one particular Nativity that impressed me. A lady from the community displayed for the first time last year. She and her husband had heard about the event and she decided to display these wonderful, beautiful elephants and camels with wise men on them. They are ornate and beautiful. This last year her husband passed away suddenly. In Colorado for a celebration of life for him, she found another Nativity that she wanted to purchase with the express purpose of displaying it at our festival. She was in tears as we helped her set it up. It was a large Nativity and on each figure there were words that to me expressed what each one brought to the story. Mary was Faith. What faith she had to be the mother of the Son of God. Joseph was Hope. How he must have hoped to be a good father to this special child that was in his keeping. The angel was Joy. The news of such great joy was their calling. The wise men intrigued me with the words that were to describe them. One was Patience, one Peace and one Purpose. I have pondered those words to describe them so much. I realized that for me it symbolized what I need to offer as my gifts to the Savior. I need to be patient. I need to bring peace. I need to have purpose of heart and follow Him. After yesterday I wept as I realized that as much as I try to bring my offerings to the Lord, that He in turn blesses me with the very gifts I strive to offer Him. Yesterday I needed His peace. I need His patience as I try to understand, comprehend and help my grandson grasp what happened to his friend. I need His purpose as I go forward with how the day's events have altered me. I think of the scripture in Mosiah which says: "And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you, And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?" Mosiah 2:23-24
How grateful I am for the gifts He brings to me in my time of need and always. May all of us have the True Spirit of Christmas and celebrate the life of Him who can heal us and make us better.
1 year ago