I write with gratitude this morning – Gratitude to God, gratitude to community, gratitude that I live in a place where “a friend in need is most defiantly a friend indeed”. I also write to do what Elder Eyring has said in “preserv[ing] memories for the day that I, and those I love, will need to remember how much God loves us and how much we need Him.” Remembering the blessings of God and learning to recognize his love towards us, His children, becomes paramount in a day in which we forget easily that which is good, and seem to see only the pain that lies in wait to engulf us on every side.
The need to help, I believe, is innate to the human experience. Images flash across our televisions from far off lands overcome by the harsh reality of Mother Nature’s power – Chile, Hati, New Zealand and most recently Japan; we also glimpse the darkness of manmade pain in the form of wars, genocides, murder and all other forms of human depravity. It is in those moments I believe our hearts yearn to assist, to comfort, to sustain . . . but how? I live so far away, what can my contribution do? There are so many in need, it is too overwhelming. Cynicism can at times take over when we see such great needs and see a faltering in those needs being met. For that reason I am grateful that I was able to witness, on a smaller scale, that help does come.
Rain became an issue for our tiny community of Peterson last night. Homes were in danger and help was needed, the creek was flooding over. The main road was closed and worry for neighbors and friends was apparent. Through assessing the situation it was made known that sandbags needed filling in Morgan. I went and the outpouring of help and love from community was apparent. I arrived and forty or so people were there already hard at work, through the course of the evening that numbered swelled to around two hundred – men, women, teens, children and even a loving Morgan Stake President who rushed over without changing his suit and sloshed through the mud without worry or care. After talking with Gabriel later, I realized just as many individuals were on the Peterson end stacking and moving the sandbags that Morgan filled, with furry against the rising waters.
Goodness is what I felt, love is what I saw and remember is what I need to do. Moments often come when I am cynical and I have forgotten the goodness of God and his love towards his children, in even the smallest things. People can help and little things do make a difference. Prayers for those faraway lands can sustain, and the power and help derived from them can be as present as a sandbag piled high against surging waters . . .