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I was watching a clip of a comedian the other day on YouTube. He was comparing his life before and after children.
In one of his sketches, he was acting out what it used to look like to leave the house when it was just he and his wife, and then what it looks like today.
“I can’t find my shoes!!!!”
I was belly laughing.
I can relate.
A few years ago I was walking through the mall and a magazine cover caught my eye.
It was a silhouette of a surfer at sunset.
The headline was: “Closer to God.”
I thumbed through the pictures and story before buying it.
It interviewed surfers who used to be atheists. Once the spent time feeling the power of the sea, they began to believe in God.
The ocean increased their love of the Creator.
I could relate.
On Sunday, several of my friends bore their witness of Christ.
It is a difficult thing to express such deep and tender feelings.
But when someone who knows hears another who knows, words are merely a bonus.
I considered myself charmed to know such friends.
Friends who have felt what cannot be articulated.
Friends who have received the gift and have no words to match the majesty of it.
There is a cheerful kinship in the fellowship of the missing shoes and the believing surfers.
They understand each other and there is no need for detailed explanations.
Although I feel commissioned to convince the world to receive God’s unspeakable gifts, it is a refreshing delight to meet those who already understand.
When I sense their belief it strengthens my own.
I don’t remember much of the details.
What I do remember is a frantic phone call from a father out of the country, worried sick about his daughter who was critically ill. An emergency trip to the hospital was needed. His wife would have to go alone with the toddler who was sick and a newborn who could not be left behind.
I remember rushing over to their home. Helping pack diaper bags and overnight bags. Trying to find matching shoes. Thinking through the details so the mother, shouldering the burden of anxiety, wouldn’t have to.
I remember Greg meeting us there at the hospital. The prayers. Watching doctor after doctor come in and out of the room.
I remember the hours of waiting for the husband to fly across the world to be there at her bedside, and the relief that flooded over the mother’s face when he walked in.
Greg and I went home then.
It was several weeks later, after the daughter was healthy again, that her mother stopped by with a plate of cookies and a thank you note.
I still have the note.
I keep it in a drawer in my bedroom, the one where I keep everything I never want to forget.
It’s a simple note. A thank you.
The words left a deep impression on my heart…there are no words expressive enough to convey my gratitude.
There are no words.
It reminds me of a favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon, “I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.” (Alma 26:16)
Sometimes gratitude leaves us without words.
I felt that way all day yesterday…surrounded by reminders of the sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus.
There are no words.
In the book of Corinthians we read another verse that describes these moments when there are no words expressive enough to convey our gratitude…
“Thanks be unto God of his unspeakable gift.” (2 Cor. 9:15)
One of the unspeakable gifts is the gift of the Holy Ghost… “God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost…” (D&C 121:26)
As I think back over the last few months of this journey my heart fills with gratitude.
I have experienced the Spirit in great abundance.
Promptings have come. Comfort. Direction. Guidance.
Doors have been opened.
Pathways have been set forth.
I have been led in ways that are unexpected and divinely inspired.
Thinking back over the miraculous circumstances that have filled the mundane moments of my life, I find myself in awe at how clearly the Spirit can speak to us. How easily it can direct us if we are in tune.
My heart is filled with thanksgiving, and gratitude overflows.
Full to the brim.
There are no words.
It’s Easter weekend.
I feel it settling upon me.
The peace and comfort that attends a testimony of Jesus Christ.
That He was born.
That belief settles my heart. It makes me whole. It guides my life.
Sometimes I find myself walking the road to Emmaus. Perhaps you have walked that road. It’s a road filled with questions. With heaviness. With uncertainty.
Remember how the disciples thought they walked with a stranger?
With a man who had no idea about the circumstance they were in, the heaviness in their hearts, the uncertainty that lie ahead…
He drew near and walked that road…step by step…moment by moment..with them… and He expounded to them the scriptures.
“And they drew nigh unto the village, wither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.” Luke 24:28-29
I know how it is to feel far spent.
I know those long evenings, the ones when you wonder if the morning will ever come.
What has gotten me through those dark nights every time are the moments I have turned to Christ, recognized Him there, and plead with Him to abide with me.
Perhaps it is the memory of those moments on my own road to Emmaus that draw my heart to hum this song every time Easter draws near.
This is my favorite Easter song.
It is the wish of my heart this Easter, and every Easter.
Abide with me, fast falls the even tide.