I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t have time to post yesterday — I had an amazing experience as I was leading the closing hymn in Relief Society (the LDS women’s meeting) today. I will try to put it into words.
The closing hymn is one of my favorites: “Lord, I Would Follow Thee.” It’s a constant reminder to me that I cannot look into the hearts of others and have no way of completely knowing why they are choosing what they do. The only thing I can be sure of is that they are doing the best they can with the information, knowledge, and experience that they possess.
I have led music in the Relief Society room for so many years that I often don’t even notice the artwork on the walls anymore. Today was different. As we got to the third verse, my eyes took in the picture at the back of the room that depicts the Savior standing at a knobless door and knocking. From the time that I can remember, I’ve known that the image represents the Savior’s call to let Him into our hearts and minds so that we can know His love and follow Him.
Today, as we were singing “I would be my brother’s keeper, I would learn the healer’s art,” my heart was reminded of all the failures in my life at trying to “help” someone be better or do better. The Savior gently taps and quietly calls. Figuratively, I have beaten on the doors of others’ hearts, yelled at them through closed wood, and even mailed them “nastygrams” when they wouldn’t let me in.
Of course, this is an oversimplified analogy, but I have repeatedly had to face my imperfections in this area. I am over-eager to help and to fix, and when the process causes me to feel hurt, I can get uglier with others than I would ever want to admit.
I have been praying and fasting over this issue for close to a year now, and I have seen growth. Today I received more. The Savior’s example is to call, to beckon, and to wait in faith. He knows that there is always a chance the goodness and the divine nature that resides in everyone will respond to His call. Even if it doesn’t He still loves us completely and totally.
I am grateful to finally recognize another component in the process of growing and improving, because now I have a better chance to follow the Savior’s example and to “do no harm” as I reach out to the people I care about.