At my daughter’s violin teacher’s home there is a portrait of Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the crucifixion. You don’t see the crosses, only the pained face of His mother, watching her son being tortured. Looking into her eyes you see the fulfillment of Simeon’s prophecy that a sword will pierce her very soul. I’ve often wished to obtain a copy of that picture as a reminder to me of the Sacrifice given on my behalf.
No matter what kind of life you lead. If you are single, married and unloved, or even have never been loved by even your parents, you can know that there is one person that when He says He loves you, He means it. Think about all He sacrificed, willingly on our behalf. Picture his great drops of blood when he took on Himself our sin and infirmities.
Even today, when we continue to sin, he pleads on our behalf. I love this passage in Doctrine & Covenants:
“Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before Him----
Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of Him who did no sin, in whom Thou wast well pleased: behold the blood of Thy Son which was shed, the blood of Him whom Thou gavest that Thyself might be glorified;
Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on My name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.”
That is true love. Love which willingly gives His all. Such love deserves true devotion in return. Such love has the right to ask us to do anything, no matter how difficult. There are times when I am frustrated with life and I have to remind myself of the Savior’s love and remember that He isn’t asking me to do anything that doesn’t pain Himself equally.
I had told a friend from church in frustration the other day, “You know, my life wasn’t easy before I joined the church, but it has been much harder since.” I don’t blame the church of course. I knew the life I was signing up for when I made my decision. It doesn’t however make it any easier.
Therefore, when I am struggling or having a wretched, exhausting day, I remind myself of my beautiful Savior. He’s not asking me to do anything needlessly. He loves me. I love Him too, therefore I should willingly, even gratefully do whatever He requires.
I said this was a dual post because I’ve been having two disparate thoughts this week and I couldn’t think of a good segue…so I’m cheating.
I’m re-reading one of my favorite novels Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. My son’s about to read it for school, so I needed to do a touch up on it. There is a passage in the beginning that is describing a godly bishop. It says,
“He was never quick to condemn and he always took into account the surrounding circumstances. He would say, ‘Let’s see how this sin came to pass.’”
I think there are two applications to this. The first is the one intended. Few people wake up and go, “I think I shall sin today.” There are generally circumstances that creep in and gradually, sometimes before they know it, they are sinning. Sometimes emotions and history factor into the situation. The point is, we can’t really know what someone is going through, or what led them into the sin they’re committing. Because of that, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Let’s try to understand and love the person. Then we can help them with their sin.
There is a second application to this as well. A personal one. When we sin, we need to say to ourselves, “Let’s see how this sin came about”. Sin is inevitable. We are fallen people. If you’re like me, you want desperately not to, but know you will fail. I fail all the time. My heart breaks when I do. Sometimes though, I can learn from my failures. I can say to myself, “How did this come about?” Maybe I can see a pattern that I can avoid. A way to keep myself from falling into the same trap. It is a good habit to get into.
Hopefully in the future I can give myself more wisely to the one who truly loves me.