Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sorrow That the Eye Can't See

Today in church we sang the hymn, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee." A line from the song practically reached out and held me by the ears: "In the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that the eye can't see."

In my life, I have had a lot of obvious challenges--two siblings passing, parents divorced, and landing in a wheel chair with a mysterious illness and all in my twenties.

Hard as these trials were, those that have been unseen--the ones I don't readily talk around in Sunday School or polite conversation--are those that have taken the most courage and patience and required me to peer more imploringly into the Garden of Gethsemane and climb the steep hill of Calvary with more determination.  They require daily struggle and bring me to my knees with greater frequency and intensity.

As I think about how I have behaved while struggling under my own crosses, I shrink when I realize that I have been completely absorbed by my own pain, almost demanding of the world that it answer my every whim and deliver grace at a seconds' notice.

The Savior provided such a different example.  I believe the pain of Gethsemane that caused the Master to bleed from every pore did not relent through those three days culminating on Calvary.  Under the intensity of his pain, the Savior had compassion on his fellow man - comforting those on other crosses or gazing up at him in agony.

In truth, I believe that if we are not struggling now under the weight of a ruthless cross, we will be soon.  The challenge is that, as we do, to not be so engrossed in our pain that we fail to comprehend the silent pains of those in agony around us - that we help bear others up even as we struggle under our own, and, by looking outward, we will be raised through our challenges ourself.

I hope I can do better at lifting while I struggle.  Heaven knows we could all use a little kindness.

Small Wonders
* Overheard by Gideon: (from a song he's heard once)
     "Clean up, clean up, everybody do their share."
     "Ready, steady, smash! - that's what a tractor says." (In the UK, kids and adults say, "ready, steady, go!" instead of "Ready, set, go" as us Yanks do)
     "I need a wittle west." (I need a little rest)

Gideon resting on our one-mile hike/walk after a northeastern blizzard!
     "I have a booby" (For boo-boo - couldn't help but not correct him.)
* Esther's vocabulary has extended this week to include "apple," "up" and "out."  She's also walking 4-6 steps on a regular basis, and couldn't be more proud of herself!

Highlight of the week - my brother came into town and we made it to a fantastic Italian bakery before dinner.



  1. I still very much enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for your insight into sorrow, gratitude, lifting, the Atonement, etc. I also really enjoyed your take on the New Hampshire primaries. I was thinking you'd be in my daughter's inlaws' ward, but it turns out they're in Hopkington MA. Who knew!

  2. Thanks for another meaningful post. If I've learned anything from my limited life experience, it's that sorrow can help you develop an amazing capacity for empathy, but that outcome is very much conditional on what you choose to do with your sorrow. This is just one more illustration of how truly following the example of Jesus makes the world a better place and redeems us in the process.