Saturday, November 5, 2011

Elementary Christianity

Recently, I had, what was for me, a profound epiphany. For a few months I have been thinking about switching wards. Because of where I live and the fact that I am single, I can choose between two family wards: the one I live in, and another one where all the mid-single adults in the stake are invited to attend. I have never felt any desire to go to the other ward, because my support network has been in my home ward for years now, and I have no problem meeting single people. I don't need to switch wards to do that. But lately I feel like I am needed there. It has been a gentle spiritual nudging and last Sunday I felt I couldn't ignore it any more. In fact, the talk in church was about giving service in the right time and place and acting immediately when called. Hmm.

But switching wards is a big deal, I kept telling myself. Okay maybe not that big of a deal. They meet in the same building, and at a more convenient time, and Phoebe already knows half the kids in their primary and as many of the adults. I think she'd be fine. I realized my biggest hesitation was about the bishop, which is funny, because it took such a long time for me to warm up to my current bishop. He is so quiet and awkward and difficult to read. I used to find it torturous to meet with him. But over time, I became used to our one-sided conversations. His not knowing what to say makes him a good listener. And it makes me listen more when he does say something. I have also learned to read the subtle signs that he does care, and learned to get his very dry sense of humor.

The bishop of the other ward is the complete opposite. He's very chatty and social, and I didn't like the idea of such a dramatic change, nor the idea of "starting over" in my relationship with a new bishop. But as I pondered it last Sunday evening, I had this overwhelming feeling that spoke to my heart. If it had spoke in words, they would have been, "everything is going to be okay, because they all represent me." I realized that the bishop is really just a representative for Christ. Believe it or not, I had never thought of that before. When I thought of it that way, I could see through their different personalities and flaws and vulnerabilities and realized that I would not be starting over, because my relationship with Christ was ongoing.

Then I thought of my home teachers--the two men that visit me every month to bring me a spiritual lesson and see if they can serve me in any way. Though no one will ever be as awesome as Josh, (the home teacher who was with me through my pregnancy, divorce, and the first 3 years of Phoebe's life) they all represent Christ. In fact, that is what the home teaching program is all about. Christ visiting each home. I thought about visiting teaching. When I visit teach I also represent Christ, too.

Then I had probably the most elementary realization ever, and it was that all Christians represent Christ at all times in our lives. This was very deep, and yet, so basic. Primary stuff. That's what I love about the gospel is that even though there are depths upon depths of knowledge to be had, it is also at its core, so simple. And I'm humbled and grateful that I got to relearn this. A few days later, I had to go to court (I would rather go to Iraq) and I noticed that everything was different this time because I was seeing everyone as a child of God and treating them the way Christ would. I think that the entire plan of salvation can be boiled down to Christ's statement: "Follow me and do the things that you have seen me do." (2 Nephi 31:12)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I LOVE this post!! I totally GET it, too! I've recently had a VERY similar sort of experience with the whole concept of God IS Love... and it changed me profoundly. I think it's about the Word sinking into our hearts... and the depth of understanding that comes when that happens IS profound! ^_^