I sat at my breakfast table on Thursday morning and cried over the stabbings in Pennsylvania. Not one to typically talk to the TV, I couldn’t help but say aloud, “Why? Why would someone do this?!” The brutality of it was just too much.
Later in the day I found myself reaching for my phone, checking social media to keep updated on a friend of mine, who’s precious baby girl has been in the hospital since Monday. My heart breaks a little to see so many tubes attached to that sweet little face. She is sedated and paralyzed and a machine is basically breathing for her. Another tear rolls off of my cheek.
Then the phone rings. It is a friend of mine from my old neighborhood. A mom whose daughter went to kindergarten with my oldest. She tells me that her husband of 22 years is leaving her. She recently discovered that he had been having an affair with a woman he met at the gym. Now she is facing a mountain of debt and is planning to move herself and her three daughters back to her native homeland, Holland.
It’s a lot to take in in one morning.
Human suffering takes so many shapes. A young man so broken and emotionally unstable that he commits gruesome, unfathomable violence. His victims – blindsided, and literally stabbed in the back. Precious babies, innocent and hurting. Mothers, fathers, family and friends who feel so helpless as they look on. Sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, betrayal. Heartache in all its varieties.
From Thursday until Saturday night, my heart was hurting for friends and family members – and even strangers across the country – in so many ways.
And then on Saturday night I had the opportunity to visit the Gilbert Arizona Temple. My perspective changed and my mind was put at ease. My heart was changed. But I wasn’t able to find the perfect words describing that change until Sunday morning.
At church, the bishop of my congregation and shared some thoughts. He spoke about his son, and how he was watching from a window as his son struggled with some chores outside. He said his first inclination was to rush out and help him. But he didn’t right away. He said his heart was stretched out to his fine son because he kept at it. He didn’t give up the struggle. And he was made stronger and wiser in the process. Then my bishop shared one of my very favorite scriptures. It is a scripture that, for me, perfectly sums up the joy of the Easter season.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
It’s worth reading again.
So there you have it. Every heartache in this world – whether it comes of our own doing or we are hurting because of someone else – every single physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional hurt can be healed by the power of Christ’s atonement. He is the way out of darkness into the Light. He has borne all of our suffering in a way that I can not fully comprehend. The sad truth of this life is that we will all have tribulation. We will all face trials in one way or another. But there is happiness and hope and light ahead. And He alone is the way to peace.
Image courtesy of lds.org
Wishing you all a lovely and beautiful Easter.