Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Inspirations November 29, 2009

I apologize for not posting last weekend. The day turned out to be busier than usual, and by the time I was able to sit down at the computer late that night, ugh was all I felt. Too much had to be done and I was simply spent by the end of the day.

Knowing today would also be pretty busy, I sat down last night with the intention of posting something just so I could claim to have done it, when a still, small voice whispered to me, "Not yet." It's been a while since I've heard the voice tell me to wait when it comes to my posting. Perhaps this is why I listened.

This morning I received a beautiful e-mail from a very dear friend of mine. It was greatly needed during a time when I've been feeling bombarded by harsh words, bad news, and overwhelming expectations. One particular couple in our ward (local congregation) has been giving us and other members quite a bit of trouble. They have not treated us with kindness, and have been more likely to accept and spread false things pertaining to my husband rather than come and talk to him themselves. There is a part of me that can understand why, yet the part that hurt both my husband and I the most is this couple - whom we have done so much for during difficult times - believed the false statements, instead of thinking to themselves, "Well, that doesn't sound like the Walkers. Maybe we should go talk to them."

And they haven't approached either one of us...until desperation caused the wife to finally ask to see my husband as her bishop. I went along to the church, as he is required to have the presence of another person with him when he sees any woman, and sat in the foyer to crochet and think. I thought back to the words my husband spoke to me when we were in the midst of all this crud. "Honey," he said, "the only reason I can sleep at night is because I have a clear conscience. I know I've done the right thing, and I have to hold tight to it." Truer words could not have been spoken by this common judge of Israel. He had done everything the way the Holy Spirit had guided him to do.

But what about me? I have a difficult time letting go of the hurt others cause my family, especially when the attitude of the offenders is blantantly unrepentant. Yet I knew this sister was suffering in ways I could never imagine enduring myself. So I focused on what she must be feeling. When she came out of my husband's office, face red and tear-stained, I immediately took her into my arms and held her while she cried and tried to compose herself. This sister clung to me like I was a lifeline to love, even if it only lasted for a minute or so.

As I related all this to my friend, who had sensed my discouragement these last few weeks, he wrote me words that opened my eyes and my heart as to my purpose as a Mormon bishop's wife.

"The hug you gave the wife was perhaps, for you, a spontaneous act of love and compassion. But to her it was, I think, much more. At her lowest ebb, here was not just a loving and understanding bishop giving his all for the welfare of her and her husband, but right outside his office was his wife, taking her in her arms and showing her the love of not just a woman, but the love that emanates from Jesus Christ. At that precise moment Laurie, you became proxy for Jesus Christ. The woman got more than a hug. She got the blessings of the Holy Spirit. A spiritual lift which will sustain her. I do not think, little sis, that you fully understand your potential as the wife of a bishop."

Standing as a proxy for Christ, in the simple form of a hug. I had not thought of it that way even for a moment, and suddenly my entire outlook on the experience changed. One of the main purposes in my life as the wife of a bishop came into focus. To love the members, with open abandon, forgiving even when it feels impossible, as my Savior has done for me. I certainly won't fool myself into thinking this change in perspective will come easily and without challenge, but it will come.

And so I ask you to think about where you are in your life right now. Have you seen a change in your own perspective regarding a purpose you hold in a calling, or job, or a new friend or co-worker? Would you be willing to share it with us?

We are all born with a massive amount of potential, gifts and talents God has blessed us with, to be used in furthing His work and His plan. Part of that plan involves loving those around us, as we are all brothers and sisters in spirit. I do pray you know of my love for you out there, and deeply thank you all for the love you have shown me ♥

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