Yeah… catharsis here we come….
So it’s been a while. A long while. And I freely admit that I just haven’t been focusing much if any attention here for, well, if I’m being honest, six months. Oddly, it seems that most of the blogs I track have largely decided on the same thing.
Maybe we’re all just busy or growing or changing or whatever.
But I had two thoughts over the last few days that I don’t think are unrelated. The first is one I’m honestly not going to dwell on more than just to say that I don’t like to think about children hurting. No matter the hurt, the cause, the reasons, the whys. I just don’t like it. I find it distinctly uncomfortable and saddening.
I think it’s easy for some of us to question why God would allow that, and I don’t suppose that is necessarily an invalid question. It’s one I’ve asked myself, though never in a rebellious “God must be wrong somehow” sort of way. I know plenty who seem to get caught up in the idea that suffering and pain and injustice somehow means God doesn’t exist, that He doesn’t care, or any other myriad assumption.
Rather, I’ve always believed that our experiences shape us and that God permits us to experience both the good and the bad. As the Book of Mormon prophet Lehi might say, “We need to see both sides to understand the good.”
I also have faith in the Plan of Salvation and its personal power in each of our lives. In the Mormon faith, we believe that God has a plan for us that began long before our mortal experiences. In this plan, we existed spiritually with our God. We came to this earth and life that we might be tested to prove our obedience to His commands. And some day, that test will come to an end, we will return to His presence, be judged, and gain the inheritance we have earned.
And I believe with all my heart that this universal Plan of Salvation is both general to all mankind and also so extraordinarily specific to each of us personally that we all have within us the seeds of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. The ability to make it.
So when I hear these stories that tear at me in a place I’m just not comfortable facing, I wonder what God has in store for them. For me.
I do believe that He sent His Son to die for me, and comprehending in my own way how much I hurt when these unknown-to-me children hurt, I cannot believe that He doesn’t somehow pay close attention when His littlest hurt. Maybe even closest attention.
But I honestly try not to think about it too much. My mortal frailty is incapable of bearing the grief I feel for long.
The other experience I had was when I stood on my front porch gathering a load of firewood for our woodstove. A couple people rode by on bikes, and one of the women in the group turned and shouted as she rode past, “Cute house!” I waved my thanks and almost literally floated back into my living room.
It reminded me how good it is to be good to each other. How good it is to look each other in the eye and say, “I love you.” She certainly didn’t need to tell me she thought my house was cute, but I’m glad she did. And I will always remember her for it.
There’s a lot of suffering in this beautiful world of ours. There’s a lot of thorns among the roses. There’s a reason those thorns are there, but I hope they never distract us from the beauty of the rose nor stop us from drinking deeply of the delicious fragrance.