“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

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Knitting Hearts

knitheartsHave you ever knit before?  I’ve attempted it on multiple occasions and more often than not, my efforts are rather clumsy.  Holding the two needles just so, gently transferring the yarn, it takes time to get into a rhythm.  I have seen knitting done with fluid motion and beautiful outcome, and perhaps someday my knitting creativity will be that smooth.  For now, as I practice, I still have to focus on very basic things like keeping the yarn from getting twisted up and holding both needles properly.

The other day when I read Mosiah 18, one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, I was struck by Alma’s choice of words in verses 21-22.  The scripture doesn’t say “put together” or “bound together” but instead talks about having hearts that are knit together which denotes a more patient and intentional work; a work which respects the agency of the participants.   And after reading this talk, I began to wonder who is actually doing the knitting.  Sometimes unity in a relationship or group seems like such a lofty and impossible prospect but I think maybe having a willing heart, or serving as pliable yarn, goes a long way.  So often I think the Lord is asking us for a willingness to be a part of something larger than ourselves.  Sometimes I hesitate because of my perceived weakness or clumsy attempts at obedience or my inability to see how simple things are tied to grand outcomes.  But more often than not, I think He’s asking for faith and some patience as He creates beauty with our efforts.  And someday, when we are privy to a view more far-reaching than our current one, I hope we can stand back and see how we have been deftly knit together with skill that far surpasses our own.

Lovingly,

Lindsay