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Friday, March 21, 2014

Someone to Watch Over Me

One recent morning, I spent three or four hours straight emailing and calling lots of teachers and school counselors, playing secretary/advocate/cheerleader behind the scenes for my kids. I then spent the rest of the day cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking a nice dinner. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to stay at home.  And I love being my kids' biggest advocate and fan.

But I figured that at the end of the school day, the munchkins would probably barge through the door, grab a snack, and plop down in front of a screen without so much as a hello-mother-how-was-your-day. They would be totally unaware of all of the work I had done on their behalf, work that had an immediate, direct blessing on their lives.

As I pondered, the situation took on a greater meaning for me.

When that teacher called my kid aside after class and said, "I understand you're missing an assignment. You can turn it in tomorrow without a penalty," they may have thought, "Wow, that was lucky. It's like the teacher read my mind."

When the choir uniform just happened to show up on time and paid for, it was wonderful that it everything just feel together so neatly.

When those messy graduation credits somehow worked themselves out, and the counselor called someone down to their office to talk them through it, that was a great coincidence since it had really been a big stress.

How much is going on that we can't see, so we are completely oblivious of it? Who is helping us behind the scenes that we are totally unaware of? I think loved ones--mortal and immortal--are busy smoothing our path, easing our way, comforting and assisting us in ways we can't even imagine. What else would they want to be doing but helping God bring His children home?

Scripture records the Lord's loving words to each of us: "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an apostle of Jesus Christ in our day, said: (my emphasis)
From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children. … 
Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near. Sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn. But most often it is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, guidance in difficult times. … 
When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. ... Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind. … 
 I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. ... On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.

I'm thankful that the Lord knows me and cares about me and never leaves me alone. For God's constant grace. For angels who have gone beyond who watch over me and help me--those I know and love and miss, and others I may not even realize I know.

Let me be an angel here to serve and lift my family--my neighbors--my Scouts--and even the stranger I meet along the way.

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