“For twenty minutes I waited in a dark closet for someone to come and find me. After a while I figured my hiding spot was too good, so I came out only to see that the group had started a new game forgetting all about me. As I was walking home I thought how sad it was that I felt more loved in a dark alley than I did in a church building”
“I asked my home teachers for a blessing. They said sure, but then they never showed up. I haven’t actually heard anything from them since. Never have they tried to come and they still didn’t explain why they didn’t come when I asked.”
Unfortunately, both of these stories are true. They happened to someone I care about very much..
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that never would any member or group of members want to cause feelings of pain or unwantedness. However, as I listened these moments being retold I felt a deep yearning to be better myself.
It made me think, Am I aware of “the ones” in the group who come trying to participate even when it is very difficult for them? Do I reach out? Do I know people’s names? Who have I left in the closets of life? In my visiting teaching efforts if someone calls, do I come? When someone prays am I ever choosing to follow promptings and be an answer.
We have a choice each day of what our influence will do. Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminds us, “ I hope my dear sisters throughout the world— grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and friends- never underestimate the power of their influence for good, especially in the lives of our precious children and youth!” I would extend his words to that of our dear brethren as well. We all have an influence that we can choose to use.
Stop and think about it. Who do you have the chance to influence today? (For any who may be thinking that there isn’t really anyone in their path, think again.) For each of us it is different, but I would submit that most people have either a family member perhaps a child or spouse, a co worker, a friend, a roommate, or at least an online acquaintance who will see our facebook status. Every single interaction we choose to have can make someone smile, or shed a tear. Are we hurting or helping others on their journey to Christ?
There have been many days where I have personally been blessed by the tender touches of another. One particularly bad day I actually ended up in tears at work. I didn’t know what to do because I was still on the clock and there were more people to help. Suddenly on my desk appeared four notes from four coworkers who all worked together to try to brighten my day. I still have them hanging on my desk. Whenever I feel a moment of frustration or sadness I can look up at them and remember that someone remembered me.
To my friend who felt so abandoned. Please know that people do care. We are all very imperfect and sometimes our intentions are not quite living up to our actions. That does not however mean that you are any less important to God. It does not mean that someone doesn’t remember you. Even if you don’t know it I am willing to bet that someone in your family, or amongst your friends may not be able to be with you physically, but is offering a prayer in your behalf from wherever they are in the world.
Also, feel empowered that because you have been in those shoes you have access to empathy and sympathy for others who may be experiencing the same feelings that you are. My advice to you would be to look outside yourself. Go find the other person hiding in the closet. Use your powerful influence to change and brighten someone else’s world.
Let’s all work together to help others feel remembered, and loved. If everyone who reads this post chooses to influence one person for good today at least 5 people will be a bit happier. 🙂 We have the ability to help others on their journey to Christ. We have the ability and capability to act as the Savior’s hands in the lives of other people.
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.