“His Hand is Stretched Out Still”

Yesterday I had the chance to go ice skating with Jessica.  Having only been a few times in her 7 years she’s still a bit unsteady on the ice.  She enthusiastically donned her skates and  I watched her stumble through the door to the rink and wait with anxious anticipation for the Zamboni to finish it’s job so she could begin skating.  Her initial enthusiasm quickly channeled itself into focused determination as she gripped the wall and unsteadily made her way slowly around the rink.  After a few minutes, I followed her out onto the ice, watching her strong little legs jerkily move along as she tried to master the feel of balancing her entire body on two very narrow blades and gliding on a very unforgiving surface.  When she was ready to leave the wall she took my hand and held tight, scooting one leg and then the other shuffling herself around the rink again and again.  After a while she began to let go at intervals.  Feeling increasing confidence in her steadiness, she would move a few feet from me, sometimes falling, sometimes skating and inevitably looking back to see if I was watching.  After a few laps of back and forth hand-holding, I began skating close to her holding my arm out.  I opened my hand and flexed my arm muscles so that my arm was strong and available to her.  I imagine watching me skate was pretty comical, partly stooped with one arm bent at the elbow.  It didn’t matter though, I wanted to serve as firm support for her when she needed it.  She grabbed on quite a bit but increasingly she could balance on her own.  A few times she skated farther from me and someone would come between us.  Other times she’d fall and look up at me with the tears that come from pain (knees+ice=hurt) and question why I wasn’t right next to her, why I’d left when she needed me.  I told her it was because she had skated on her own, she’d quickened her pace.  I thought about God, as I always do in my contemplative parenting moments, and how his support for us is the same.  He tells us his arm is extended, and that for all our faltering moments, His hand is stretched out still.  Just like I held my arm firm and steady, He offers his strength, support and solidarity as we learn new things, as we stumble, as we venture out and gain confidence in this thing called living.  And when we stumble and fall and look up blaming Him for His absence, he simply holds out His arm, helps us up and reminds us He’s never been far and that He’ll skate with us as long as we want Him there.  I love that about Him.

Take Action: Nourish your soul with a prayer today, gratefully acknowledge one blessing and ask to have the eyes to see His hand in your life.

“Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

Elisha

Yesterday as I settled into the news of the terrorist attack in Belgium and felt the fear that comes when people are hurt, this scripture kept coming to mind.  These timeless words were uttered by the prophet Elisha to his servant when they woke up confronted with a seemingly insurmountable opposing force (represented by the tents).  Before taking any action, Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes would be opened and that he would be able to see that their sincere and brave efforts supporting Israel were augmented by the surrounding horses and chariots of fire.  It was at that point that the real state of things was clarified to at least those two individuals.

Sometimes when disaster strikes or hurt abounds, it can be hard to “see” the hand of God because frequently we want to see Him in protection.  Like Elisha and his servant, we want heaven’s hand to be manifest in the avoidance of pain for innocent people.   It takes practice, patience and earnest seeking of the spirit to learn to see him in the midst of pain, to see Him in moments when resilience is being cultivated.  After yesterday, take a deep breath and acknowledge the fear that you naturally feel because it has the power to transform you, to give you the desire to see things you might not have seen otherwise.  When hurt abounds, as it does now, God can always be “seen” in the healing if that’s what you’re looking and praying for.

After acknowedging any fear or anxiety, try to see this: The signature of the adversary’s work is in fear, division and coercion. On the other hand, the signature of heaven is found in compassion, cohesion, healing and growth.  So find peace in the stories of compassion that begin to emerge, bask in the goodness that flows from people who care.   Find strength in the solidarity of humanity, the vast majority of whom abhor such violent acts.  Watch as wounds, both physical and spiritual, heal through the ministering grace of heaven.  Listen for the stories of people who draw on angelic strength and choose to grow through this hard thing that life offered them.  And hug your babies, your spouse, your parents or yourself, maybe sit in stillness for a few minutes, smile at a neighbor or a fellow driver, recognizing that whenever you choose to love, unify, heal, strengthen and support growth, especially in the midst of fear, you’re in good company “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

With love,

Lindsay 2.0

This I know. One year later.

Sunrise

A year ago I shared some thoughts with my local congregation and close friends and family after suffering the loss of a briefly held but long-cherished and promised pregnancy.  In my anguish and confusion, I testified of my faith in the love of God and of His patience with my growth and understanding.  In the throes of that grief, tinted with hope, we entered a year where our little family, my body and my spirit have been challenged in ways that have required more of us than I could’ve imagined.  Sustained by a beautiful tapestry of heavenly grace, personal strength and loving support, I can stand here today with a different kind of faith and knowing. There is something about being nearly undone that makes one realize where true sources of strength can be found.  I would like to testify of these true things.

I know that because I chose to follow the Savior in the pre-existence that He has blessed me with a body.  This body is mortal and is subject to all sorts of influences in mortality, some self-imposed and some beyond my control.  Cultivating attunement between my spirit and body has given me beautiful insight regarding my work on earth and the specific things I can learn and offer.  I know that Satan does not have a body and that many of the ways he tries to influence me have to do with the use and care of my body.  I believe if he can thwart, interrupt or distract me from my connection to my body or put my in a position of opposition to my body that He can disrupt a measure of my growth.  I know that whatever gifts I have been given or whatever talents I have cultivated can be used for good, unifying, growth-promoting things or for destructive purposes.  If Satan can offer the primary influence in my life, those gifts, talents and skills are put to use for his destructive and divisive purposes, whereas if I am constantly and humbly seeking to obediently follow the Savior, I am in a position to grow and my growth is multiplied exponentially, along with the peace that I have access to.  I can also serve as a resource to other souls who are seeking growth.

I know that the Savior Jesus Christ is the author of peace which passeth all understanding and that He offers us that peace in the very moments we sincerely chose to follow Him or at the very least hope to believe in Him regardless of where we have been in the moments before.  I know that through His atonement, the ashes that we either find ourselves in or create in our lives can be transformed into unimaginable strength and opportunities for growth. However, the ashes have to be recognized as such in order for the cleansing relief of the atonement to be truly felt.  I know that the Book of Mormon, the Bible, the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price all have powerful and true insights regarding the atonement, the Savior and the ways to integrate those two things into our personal lives.  Through study of the scriptures and my efforts to see the hand of God here on earth, I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of me and each of you.  I know that there is incredible strength that can be derived from our collective faith and our unity.  Like one of my local leaders taught a few weeks ago, I know that the roots of our faith are intertwined and in the midst of fierce storms, the strength that we can draw from each other can literally be life-saving.  I reiterate that I know this.

I know that the strength, goodness and truth that I enjoy today in my life, my home, my chapel and our local temple was set in motion by a 14-year-old boy who was confused and wanted to communicate with Heaven.  I have been in the grove where he offered that first prayer, and I know that Joseph Smith was graced with a view of heaven, particularly of God the Father and His son Jesus Christ, that few people experience in this life.  I know that he received further revelation and that that revelation led to the re-establishment of a beautiful religion with Jesus Christ’s robust doctrine, merciful and insightful answers to mortality’s questions and a clear authority to teach from heaven.  I believe in the power and efficacy of that priesthood authority from Joseph Smith to our prophet Thomas S. Monson today.   I know that my local bishop is a man who receives revelation for our little group of believers here and I am profoundly grateful to be led by someone who seeks the guidance of the Spirit as much as he does.  I testify of the grace and mercy of a God who wants to continually reach out to His people to offer them glimpses of heaven in this life.  It is hard for me that these glimpses aren’t permanent but that they come and go and that there are times of wandering and confusion that naturally result from trying to access heaven from a fallen world but that doesn’t change the veracity of those true moments when we experience them.  These are things I know.  And while the path to this knowledge has been at times seemingly unbearable, I am so grateful for the knowing because that’s why I’m here.

Parented by Heaven

Last week I watched the beautiful daughter of one of my dearest friends.  This sweet little thing has been a gift in my life in so many ways so our family was enthusiastic to welcome her into our fold for several days.  Throughout the week, I watched her closely for any signs of missing her parents, feeling distress at the separation or other indicators that she may be questioning her well-being.  But her darling smiles and happy play made it clear that she was comfortable in our home.  During one of our evening conversations, I expressed to my friend that her parenting must’ve instilled in her daughter a trust that she would be well-cared for, listened to and watched over because she expected as much from us and received it without batting an eye.  I found so much beauty in the work that had been done to assure this child that she was cherished and important because I recognize that represents a lot of intentional parenting.

Several days later I was relating this story to another friend as we watched this same babe jump with enthusiasm into our neighborhood pool.  She mentioned that it was an interesting observation to consider given the scriptural admonition to “become as a child.”   My usual interpretation of that scripture leaves me feeling a bit powerless and desperate to cultivate that kind of “submissive humility” that seems to be desired by the author.   As I looked at it with fresh eyes, though, I felt the beauty of that new meaning wash over me.  Perhaps that’s what divine parenting can look like, a simple trust and regard built over time with experiences and mutual exchanges, to the point that eventually the mortal child can rest assured that heaven hasn’t forgotten him/her, despite physical and sometimes spiritual distance.  Remembering that the Savior is the same yesterday, today and forever, and knowing Him to love me dearly and care for me exquisitely at times in my life, this interpretation didn’t seem so far off.

stewardship and potty training

Today I started potty training my 2.5 year old. It went really well considering he had zero interest going into it and I only had to scrub poop off of my carpet once. As I did said scrubbing, I found myself thinking about the uncelebrated task of teaching a child to use a toilet.  On any given day I might have a real chip on my shoulder about having to be the one to mess with the mess that was before me.  I have been known from time to time to wonder why tasks like this fall upon my shoulders and not, say, my husband’s. If I allowed myself, I could get really worked up about spending the day inside directing bowel movements while my husband (really just in my mind) receives accolades all day for his hard work in medical school and his PhD.

My work may feel so trivial at times, but the truth is, as long as Steven and I are each being our best at doing our best, our work is equally important. There is a quote that David O. McKay, a previous leader of my church loved that says, “What E’re Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.”  I love this quote too. I don’t believe the Lord cares so much about WHAT we are doing so much as HOW we are doing it. I also know that this is not just a personal mantra to pacify myself as a stay at home mom, but pure and simple truth, because it’s also been my experience that we’ll find much greater happiness in this life (surprise!) by focusing more on the how than the what.  We can find this promise also in the parable of the talents. In Matthew the lord gives 1, 2, and 5 talents to his servants. The servants who were stewards over the 2 and 5 doubled what they had and received equal praise. The servant with only 1 said he was “afraid” so he simply hid his talent and was rebuked.  The naughty servant wasn’t rebuked because he had only been given 1 talent from the start and everyone made fun of him, he was rebuked because he didn’t do his best with even the little he had. I find myself at times not being the best steward over my seemingly small-in-the-eyes-of-the-world tasks because I fear the world outside of my home more than I should. I spend too much time concerned with WHAT I am doing and whether or not it’s important enough than HOW I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing. It’s part of digging into this life that I’m working on.  So, the next time you come to my house, I’ll still just be scrubbin’ poop, but it’ll be the best scrubbed carpet I can muster and I’ll be darned if there’s not a smile on my face. 🙂

Mary & Martha: relating

At the crux of that moment, and inherent in the Savior’s reply, was an emphasis on relationships.  In reading the definition of charity, I notice that there are many qualities that are more easily applied in a relationship than in a vacuum.  So instead of trying to possess all of the qualities all of the time, it seems a bit more manageable to think of them as being doled out in quantities as necessary and applicable in relationships with oneself and other people.

The Savior pointed out that Mary was seeking Him, spending precious time learning from Him and connecting with Him and those moments, stored away in her very soul, were becoming a part of who she would always be.  The meal, important to sustain the bodies housing those souls, would probably be forgotten while the feeling of proximity to the Savior would linger.  I think that’s what He’s trying to help Martha understand.  The trouble is, sometimes there are very real mortal concerns that go into creating moments like that.  Be they in formal religious settings or in homes.  Sometimes an awful lot goes into orchestrating a spiritual experience and the conductor experiences only the last lingering notes.

As we navigate our lives attempting to seek Him out wherever He is to be found, it makes sense that in formal settings, sometimes we will create the moments for others and sometimes we will partake of them because of another.  This recognition along with some semblance of balance seems important.  I wonder if Martha was obligating herself to a course of action when what she really felt like was sitting at His feet?  I wonder if she was claiming some space her in life, even just a few moments, to soak up His presence or if she was constantly waiting for an invitation.

In family or individual settings, we all have different personalities and we’re prone to different priorities.  I believe the Savior manifests Himself to each of us in beautifully personal ways and He can be found in quiet, intentional moments.  But it can be hard, especially at the phase of life I find myself in, to set aside the mountain of tasks I face each day in favor of a few quiet moments of spiritual presence.   And, perhaps like Martha, when I neglect my spirituality for a number of days, I can relate to blaming a lot of other things for my floundering.  Thankfully, I believe He can also be found in the details and preparations of my life if I seek Him there.  I benefit from a consciousness that He’s available, maybe when I’m preparing dinner as part of caring for my family, maybe when I’m driving my little one to preschool, to help her soul grow or maybe even when I’m outside, under the clear blue sky He created, walking my rowdy dog.  And even though I’m careful and troubled about many things, if I can mange to get at least one eye single to Him, He will manifest himself to me, usually with a measure of peace.

Mary & Martha: revisted

In between moments of teaching large groups of people, the gospels document small, personal exchanges between the Savior and individuals.  Mary and Martha appear in only a few of these moments and but each mention of them offers precious insight into the personality of Jesus Christ.  Luke recounts the now-famous moment when Mary sat at the feet of the Savior while Martha served Him as a faithful hostess.  In the midst of her service, it appears that Martha started to feel frustrated, maybe resentful, maybe angry and she approached the Savior with her complaint against Mary.  He, seemingly tenderly, with the “Martha, Martha” introduction, pointed out the differences in the activities of the two women.

First off, being familiar with passive-agressive modes of communication myself, I wonder if Martha was banging pots around and setting ingredients down with a bit more force than necessary, before she approached the Savior.  I wonder if she felt frustrated because she wanted to be the one sitting down, listening.  I wonder if she’d had a long day, if she’d received notice of the Savior’s impending arrival and was worried about feeding this important guest or if she was trying to string together a meal from the contents of her bare larder.  I wonder if she’d reached her wits end when the meat was about to burn and the flatbread was still baking and the table needed to be set.  I also wonder why she didn’t ask Mary for help directly.

I find it interesting that the Savior didn’t feel the need to say anything until Martha requested that Mary’s service mirror her own.  He seemed perfectly content to let them serve in their respective spheres according to their desires and talents and the needs of the moment.  I imagine He was aware of both of them the entire time but at no point did He jump up and demand that Martha stop her preparations and come sit by Mary, even after he helped her understand more about what Mary was trying to do.   It seems so gracious, the recognition that our service to Him will look different depending on the hour or need or the person.  As we fumble around and learn to offer that brand of graciousness to our striving selves as well as those around us, I believe we learn volumes about how He loves.

Space for Grief

After walking timidly across the tan industrial carpet, into my initial appointment with my good psychologist, I sat on the proverbial couch and nervously drew breath.  After a few initial questions, it didn’t take long to begin unearthing some of the struggles that were weighing heavily on my heart.  For various reasons, these heartaches were things I had kept fairly close, hoping, with sincere faith, to manage on my own without burdening or embarrassing others.  (My, how times have changed, as I apparently feel comfortable enough these days for anyone to happen across these solemn struggles of my soul).  As I verbalized hard experiences, she would say “Wow, that sounds really rough” or “What a struggle for you.”  These thoughts were refreshing to my parched soul because they were honest and true.  It began to be clear that I hadn’t allowed myself to feel through the experience.  You see, in the interest of believing that the Savior can make beauty for ashes, I thought that faith meant that I should ignore the ashes, sweep them under my bed, under the fridge, anywhere, because someday something beautiful would come in their place.  My belief was that if I had enough real faith, the process would be immediate.  I thought faith meant that the pain should be lessened or completely mitigated and that by feeling the sadness and the loneliness, I was denying the grace offered by heaven.   What I didn’t realize was that my soul-squelching pain could indeed coexist with my steadfast faith.  I could be completely heartbroken AND also possessed of a firm belief that the Savior was still mindful of me and that my losses would be made up.

I think the Savior teaches this when he meets Mary and Martha after the death of Lazarus.  He knew, he KNEW, that in moments, they would be reunited with their brother.   I imagine there are a lot of reasons that He wept with them, and those few verses are among some of my most treasured bits of knowledge about Him.   He was dealing with two separate souls with distinct personalities and struggles.  Martha greets him with a faithful expression of her belief that He can work this miracle.  They converse about the resurrection and He alludes to the work He is about to perform.  At that point Martha retrieves the distraught Mary.   The Savior could’ve said, “Hey, don’t worry, I can fix this, dry your tears and let’s go.”  But he didn’t.  He sat with her in her sorrow.  He took in the experience alongside both sisters.  He felt the disappointment (had you been here…), he felt the loss.  And he let them feel it too.  He wasn’t put off by it and he didn’t need them to go elsewhere to manage themselves so that they might present their polished, faithful and smiling faces before He would work His miracle.  No, they all descended into the awfulness of grief before they made the ascent out of it together.  How did that frame the miracle of Lazarus coming back to life?  If the grief had been glossed over or denied a voice or tears, how would those miraculous moments have changed?  If He hadn’t respected their individual understanding when it came to Him or life or the resurrection, what would the exchange have looked like?  I think the palpable agony of loss and the tears give life to those moments, it makes them real.  And I believe the Savior is nothing if not real.

More than one

The other day I was thinking about what parenting would be like if we had more than one child.  (In case you’re wondering, this is not something that I anticipate changing any time soon).  With just one little one, there is so much we can do to control the environment because it’s only RJ and I that have to shift and bend to accommodate the individual learning of our babe.  Our life is joyfully imbued with so much of her developing personality because it can be and we’re excited to travel along whatever paths that growth leads us.   It’s kind of beautiful to have so much flexibility as we modify schedules and choices to capitalize on opportunities to teach her to choose good things.  But with even one more child in our midst, there would be more requirements firmly in place, more needs to balance and more personalities to assert themselves.   There simply couldn’t be as much catering done because our time and patience resources would be more taxed.  As would our ability to exert control over the environment and consequences because another person’s agency as well as ideas of fairness would come into play.   I was thinking about how important it would be to model and also request patience and understanding.  Then I was thinking about how hard it would be to infuse a more hectic and frantic life with those serene ideas.  How do you teach children to respect other’s weaknesses or mistakes, especially when those weaknesses or mistakes cause repeated grief?  How do you give them a broad context for daily development?

That got me to wondering about Heavenly parenting.  Maybe that’s why the second commandment is to love one another.  Maybe it’s akin to saying, ‘Please be patient, there is development happening here.’  Each of us is granted the ability to make choices and none of us develop in a vacuum so we’re consequently bumping into each other, sometimes in very inopportune ways.  How hard it is to be patient when we’re dealing with our own heartaches and frustrations, let alone having them exacerbated by relational strife.  I’ve known very few people who would knowingly inflict such injuries but the blows come none the less.  I think maybe His invitation is for us to cultivate some perceiving spiritual space where our souls can take a deep breath and remember the plan.  The plan that we chose because we knew it would help us to grow, the plan that allows us and others to learn things on our own, which inherently means growth is going to take a while and could be ugly.  The plan that asked Heaven not do do it for us, but to grant us the Savior we would need in order to learn for ourselves and ward off the effects of other people’s choices.  Among the first instructions that precious Savior offered on this journey was the invitation to love as we are loved.  How does one create or access a few moments of that kind of patient love for self and others?

Easter: The storied Garden

I’ve been thinking of the events leading up to the resurrection, specifically the moments in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Though I would love to travel it’s well-worn paths, I’ve only seen pictures of it, both actual and artistic renditions.  My mind flies most readily to the green-toned garden with the bent and gnarled tree, and a gracious, loving Savior with clasped hands and an upturned face, kneeling at it’s base.  I think of Him walking in, heavy-hearted, filled with a myriad of emotions.  Though he had been acquainting himself with humanity and mortality for the past 33 years, I am sure what He was about to be immersed in was far more daunting than the one-on-one empathy and healing he’d been extending.

I used to think of Him trudging into the garden with the nebulous idea that he was there to take care of humanity’s experiences and mistakes.  I imagined Him slightly irritated with Peter and the others who could not watch one hour with Him.  I thought of the pain he was feeling because of us.  My view of Him was filled with so much condescension and pride when in reality, I think the only condescension was the fact that He was here.  On earth.  To bring the perspective and Presence of heaven here, to a place where we feel so far from God.

I now believe He took those steps into that familiar garden with a heavy heart, knowing that he was about to feel all the pain that would be unleashed because of the fall of Adam.  Because when you set people loose with choices, in frail bodies, outside the presence of Deity, a lot can happen.  I believe those moments of agony had more to do with His love for us and His desire to understand the wounds that we would inflict on ourselves and others and that he wanted to feel the pain with us, not because of us.  That’s the way it’s always been right?  He has been possessed of a perspective and understanding that illustrates His knowledge of growth.  He has championed principles that enable people to own their growth as opposed to forcing growth upon them.  He donned mortality with whispers of his long-held belief that His role was to help, guide and support us along our way.  And this act, so gracious and all-encompassing, would be monumental in His and our journeys on this earth.  So I believe He walked into those trees purposefully, and without thought of turning back because He would not be willing to leave even one of us alone in our pain if we needed or wanted Him there to understand us.  And because His life would only hold 33 years of experience, He would have to take in a condensed dose of that understanding, there, in the garden.   Knowing the heartache He had already witnessed in His short life, I can see Him importuning heaven for any other way to accomplish this task.  As I think about the kind of experiences that would’ve been dealt Him in those moments, I can see how His very soul would bleed.  I imagine the raw, heavy, uncomfortable heartache would’ve been enough to bring Him to His knees.  But then to know that those experiences would be attached to individuals, souls He holds such beautiful love and high regard for, that must have been almost overwhelming agony.

As he went to check on Peter, I wonder what He was going to tell him.  I wonder if He was going to confide in him or offer him some idea of what that awful, lonely place was like.   But instead, he tried to help Peter see the importance of what was taking place.  I imagine it must’ve been kind of disappointing to find Peter sleeping.  Not because the Savior couldn’t understand exhaustion, but because that probably meant that Peter didn’t completely grasp what was going on.  With all of His teachings and intimations, Peter, at least was still not quite ready and prepared for these next few days and his slumber illustrated that.  But really, how could he be?  Had Peter, who had such a complete and enthusiastic love for the Savior, understood completely, doubtless he would’ve been watching and praying, both for the Savior and for himself.  Instead of explaining, Christ, ever-patient, would let Peter come to this knowledge on His own, as He often does.

I imagine it would’ve been hard to see Peter sleeping the second time because he was one of the few on whom the Savior was relying to share the poignancy of these moments.  Based on the records we have, it was the last time He would talk privately with Peter as a mortal man.  Doubtless He’d hoped the exchange would entail more wisdom than a request for alertness.  But the Savior knew Peter, and He knew that Peter loved Him with a pure and sometimes frantic love and that these next few days were going to be rough for him as well.  As the Savior made His way back into the garden, I wonder if he was considering how much Peter would miss Him?  I imagine that knowledge might’ve made His steps that much heavier.

As he walked out of the garden for the last time, and found Judas, what did He think?  Did He have that heavy feeling of awful anticipation in his stomach, knowing what was to come?  The atrocities of the day had been spelled out in prophecy pretty clearly but something about a lamb going to the slaughter suggests a measure of unknown.  He knew it would be Judas who would surrender Him and He had asked that it be done quickly.  He knew about the the thorns and the mocking, jeering crowds, the stripes, the vinegar, the raiment, and He knew about the cross.  Did He know how much it would hurt?

Did He know that beloved John, the infamous “other disciple,” would shamelessly accompany Him as He stood in halls of judgment before souls who just didn’t understand.  Again and again, He would endure whatever ugliness they would hurl at Him in word and bodily fluid.  Doubtless there were those who knew Him and still rejected Him but for many, I believe He was thinking the same thing he finally uttered about the guards (Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do).  What kind of love would it take to even look in the face of someone who was pounding a thick metal nail through your fragile, worn, miracle-working skin?  And then to have your beaten, exhausted body hauled up onto a cross, agonizingly bearing it’s own weight?  And yet that was the love He possessed, made evident by His actions before and after.  In those hours on the cross He took in all the pain around Him in addition to His own.  He addressed the fear of the thieves alongside Him, He sought to comfort His dear mother and beloved John in their inevitable grief.  He connected with His apostles and His disciples.  And then, when the veil was getting thin, He addressed His Father.  I would love to know what their reunion was like, after proclaiming his work done, and commending His soul home, what did Heavenly Father tell His Son?  What did the Savior convey to the Father about us and mortality?  We only have a small glimpse, the beginnings of what that conversation would entail and these are the words  “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”    I wonder sometimes if that is His argument for most of us in mortality.  It’s so hard to know principles the way Heaven knows them.   It’s hard to know each other the way Heaven knows us.  We struggle to understand Heaven and her grace from such a distance and so we struggle to offer Heaven and her grace to each other.  His words seem more idealogical than actual.  The soldiers must have known they were nailing a man to a cross.  The actions were not necessarily in question.  However, their understanding of what they were taking from the Earth and the pain they were inflicting on the most loving man to ever walk her trails, that was the thing He perceived that they didn’t understand.  And because they didn’t understand that they couldn’t understand Him.  I want to understand.

It’s Good Friday.   I’m thinking of Him.

With love,

Lindsay