Today has been a really good day. I went up to church with the kids, Sam was sick with a tummy ache, left him with a bit of Redmond Clay mixed with water. I've had this home remedy around for a while but didn't really think that it worked, but when my daughter was complaining about her tummy hurting I was desperate and tried it. She immediately felt better!! I was surprised that she even tried it because she is a skeptic. :D So I tried it last week when my stomach was hurting, and it worked. Sam tried it today and it worked... so anecdotally I guess it works. :D
I've been feeling a bit detached from my faith, thinking perhaps that being a good person is enough, and I guess a little hesitant as well because it is hard for me to assert things. Afraid that I might offend someone, afraid that I might seem judgmental, afraid that if I make a mistake then somebody out there will point at me and say "Look, look at her!! Her with her high expectations, her aspirations. See her now, she is not so good. Ha, she is not so good."
It is hard to convey across the internet, the sense of who I am, the essence of who I would like to be. I am a calm observer, I believe in certain things, believe deeply in them. But recognize that others believe differently a lot of times than me and that there are certain things that people feel defensive about, and I don't want to offend.
I believe in God, I have felt his presence in my life and I believe that he is kind. I believe in Jesus Christ, I have been blessed by the power of his Atonement. He healed my heart and spirit when I turned to him. I also believe in the Holy Ghost, that he is a guide and comfort to us in times of our greatest need.
Today I sat in sacrament meeting, truly trying to listen, to pay attention. There is a lady in our ward that I met several years ago when her son came and knocked on our door asking for money for gas for their car.
I thought he was just out looking to get a few dollars from someone, he was sort of a cheeky little guy. So I thought I would let him earn it. I had him pick up a few things around the yard and then gave him the money.
I went down the street to talk to his mom, joke around a bit with her because I like to do that with people. When she opened the door I was struck by the feeling that a truly evil presence was in her home, it made me shake.
I talked with her as best as I could and discerned that they had no furniture in the home, that they had very little and I asked her if they had any food. She told me that they did not.
When I got home I called up the bishop and let him know of the situation. In our church we pay tithing and fast offerings. The tithing pays for the church programs and buildings and offerings from ward members go to feeding the hungry and clothing them as well.
My husband went over to talk with Katie and invited her up to the church to fill out a bishops food order. She came up, but she was antagonistic. The bishop asked if she would say an opening prayer, she said something like "No I won't pray!" So he asked if he could say a prayer and she let him.
It turns out that Katie has been struggling with addiction, drug abuse. She needed the money for gas so that she could go to rehab. On and off as I have known her over the years she has come to church and the members of the ward have nurtured her.
She is a bit off putting, I have felt uncomfortable around her but I have tried to be decent to her as a person and not let the negative things come in. Yet, although I would talk with her and say hi, it was hard for me to sit by her.
Many times though, others have taken up the call to serve and to love her. Many times I have seen a beautiful mature lady that I know sit by her, embrace her, rub her back as she lay her head against the back of the chair in front of her.
Katie has been coming regularly now, though she leaves early. I think that she doesn't feel well a lot of times, I believe that she still struggles with drug abuse.
Today she was there, it is a Fast Sunday, we hold Fast Sunday the first week of every month. When the time was turned over to the members to share their testimony of the restored gospel, she walked up to the front and sat down in the stand to wait for her turn to speak.
Several others were before her, including a young boy about 8 years old whose testimony amazed me. Then she got up to speak, she read us something out of Corinthians, I couldn't catch which verses. It had to do with coming out from the unclean things of the world, to believe, to have faith, and then she gave her testimony. Something that I have been neglecting to do for fear of reprisal, for fear of offending others, for fear of judgment.
She stood there, unafraid, with 17 or more earing's in her ears, with lipstick red as red. She did not look like everyone else, yet she stood there and looked out over the congregation and spoke with assurance that there is a God, that the verses that she spoke where an answer to her prayers. The she believed that God loved her and that this church has the true and complete gospel.
I felt very honored to be there, listening to the testimony of someone who struggles with many things, yet knows that God is there. As she walked past I mouthed a thank you and reached my hand out to grasp her own, and she gave it a squeeze, an understanding squeeze, a loving squeeze.
I was very grateful to have been there today, to feel a renewal of my spiritual bank. Today I would like to repent, which I believe means to turn to the Lord.
I hope you all have a beautiful Sunday as well.