Couple Working in Homeless Shelter

I teach one Sunday a month in what we call Relief Society, our women’s organization. This month, I was asked to teach about service. Again. I gave a lesson on service last year. The Bishop, our ecclesiastical leader, just talked about service a couple weeks ago. I feel like my church is always talking about service. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I just wasn’t very excited to prepare another lesson on the topic.

But then, as I was thinking things through, I remembered an experience that I had earlier this fall. After watching my Autistic daughter run in her first cross country meet, I allowed my younger girls to play in a canvas pavilion while we waited for the meet to end. I intentionally left my oldest to be with her teammates. What fifteen-year-old wants to hang out with her mom?

After a while a group of girls, including my daughter, walked by the pavilion. I watched them as the lined up along the rope that marked the course. I don’t think they knew I was watching them. After cheering on other teammates, the other girls turned and walked toward the finish line. My daughter didn’t seem to notice they had left and remained where she was.

I wasn’t angry that the girls had left her behind. I understand that my daughter’s disability makes it hard for her to fit in. Sometimes, she can be downright rude. But I felt very sad as I watch her stand there alone. For a moment or two, I debated whether to go over to be with her.

But then I heard someone call her name. I looked to see the other girls, standing about a hundred yards away. When they had noticed that my daughter wasn’t with them, they stopped and called for her. They waited for her as she ran to join them. I was so grateful for their kindness.

I realized that God feels like I did that day. He loves us each individually, and with His infinite power He watches each one of us just like I watched my daughter that day. And when we are left alone, or anything else negative happens to us, He is saddened just like I was. But unlike me, He can’t come rescue us. He has the ability, but He chooses not to because His appearance would affect our agency.

So He has to send someone else.

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