While there, he asked me many questions to get to the bottom of my headaches so he could make an accurate diagnosis. One of the things he asked was "Have you ever been physically or sexually abused?"
I looked him straight in the face and said, "No."
The look on his face was a bit telling. He seemed shocked. He sat there for a moment, and it seemed that he was waiting for me to change my answer, but of course, because I'd told him the truth, I didn't.
His response really caught my attention.
This morning, upon logging into Facebook, a friend had written "This is what came to mind as I turned away from my work to pray for those affected by the Sandy Hook massacre: "Jesus wept." (John 11:45) The shortest line in the Scripture, as well as one of the profound and tender. God is with us, in and through our tears. It may be about more than Sandy Hook for you. No matter, He is with you and all of us. Emmanuel: God with us!"
Sandy Hook is one of many symbols of the tragedies that touch our children's lives. Children's hearts and lives are broken every day. This is the real tragedy of our world
My friend's status brought my mind back to a discussion we'd had in ward council a few weeks ago. The bishop turned all of our minds to 3 Nephi 17.
In this chapter, Jesus has come to the Americas and is with 2500 of the people. He calls their little children to him. Prior to that discussion at ward council, I had, honestly, never looked deeply at the words in this chapter. As I did so, I was so surprised at what I saw and how much I felt it related to the current situation with our own children.
Jesus asked that the children be brought to him and "they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him" (verse 12). He stood in their midst. What happens next should have been something I noticed because it's such a strange reaction from the Savior. He "groaned" and then said, "Father I am troubled because of the wickedness of the people...."
It wasn't the children's wickedness He's groaning and weeping about. It's the wickedness of the people who affect the children's lives. We are sent here to earth to use our agency--to make our own choices--ALL of us. Sometimes that agency takes away the agency of others.
In the words found in these chapters, we find the cure to our illness. Our hearts are broken over the major occurrences of the past couple weeks, but there are daily things that happen in children's lives that damage them. The fear is that as we, by using our agency poorly, damage their souls, they can never be reclaimed. If this is the case, these damaged souls will become the terror of our future society.
Some complain about "children [or teenagers] these days." We are creating our own monsters. It is our selfish choices--those things we choose to do that we think only affect us--that will have the biggest repercussions. Nothing that we do only affects us. To think they do is foolishness
I am grateful to my friend for sharing that very simple scripture: "Jesus wept." I needed my mind brought back to this lesson I was in the process of learning. Timing is so interesting.
Our only hope is in Jesus Christ. As we each turn toward Him and seek healing, we can be healed, but it really is up to us.
These things are ours for the asking. I firmly believe this, but we must ask, and sometimes we must ask over and over again. Sometimes we even need to beg and plead for them and more than anything else, we must seek to change ourselves and conclude that the decisions we make affect everyone--even those things we do "in Vegas."
If we think He has deserted us in our time of need, we are wrong. Just like any parent, He allows us to make our choices and to make our mistakes. He groans and weeps for us as we choose wrongly, but He is still aware of us. He still tries to gather us back to Him. These tragedies, can bring us to the source of healing....and should.
We are not left alone.