Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tender Mercy

In April of 2005, Elder David A Bednar spoke in General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His topic was "The Tender Mercies of the Lord". In the talk, he gave several examples of small blessings given to individuals that were just what they needed at that particular moment in time. He said "....the Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ."
Ronald darling did not care for the talk. It was much too touchy-feely for him. Fluff, he thought. But a week ago we experienced some of the Lord's tender mercy.
We recently bought a semi-new car. Actually, it is the same year, make and model as the old one, but it has 200,000 fewer miles on it than the old one. So about 10 days ago, it started sputtering, chugging, gasping for air. Something like that. So Ronald darling decided to take it to the garage and have it checked. I drove the old car (which we haven't sold yet) to work and would see him at home. I parked in the seven level garage across the street from my office. Ronald darling took the car to the shop, but they needed to keep it. What to do? He was six miles from home on a hot summer day.
He decided to hop on the bus (30 or 40 years since the last time he took a bus), come downtown, pick up the old car, drive it home and then pick me up after work. He tried to call me, but his cell phone was not charged. It wouldn't have mattered, mine was turned off.
I usually eat lunch in the cafeteria, but on that day I had to go to the IRS office. shudder. It's four and a half blocks from the office and it was a hot summer day and I am a semi-old lady. I decided to drive. I got hung up in conversation so did not leave at 11:30, but at 11:38.
Ron rode the bus downtown but missed the stop and had to walk back two blocks to the garage. I don't have an assigned spot to park, and if I did, he wouldn't have known where it was; he's never been in the garage before. So, I left the building, crossed the street, climbed the flight of stairs to the second level and headed for the car. And there he was, walking toward me from the other end of the garage.
Some people would call this a coincidence. I know better. It was a tender mercy from the Lord. Ronald darling drove me to the IRS, dropped me back at work and picked me up after. We both basked in the knowledge that the Lord loved us and was aware of us, every moment.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day

You're a grand old flag,

You're a high flying flag

And forever in peace may you wave.

You're the emblem of

The land I love.

The home of the free and the brave.

ev'ry heart beats true

'neath the Red, White and Ble,

Where there's never a boast or brag.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot.

Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

D-Day, the Sixth of June

War is hell. Too frequently necessary, but hell, nonetheless. We teach our children from the beginning to play nice, to say they're sorry when they hurt someone. We teach them that all men are their brothers, that we are all the children of our Heavenly Father who loves us. That He loves all men and that Christ died for the sins of all men. If we teach them well, and if they are receptive, they learn to believe it and then to know that it is true.

And then comes the necessity of war. We have to teach them to defend themselves from those who seek their death. We teach them to kill, and to understand that they may be killed. To fight on anyway.

We teach them of the 2,000 stripling warriors, who believed their mothers. Who believed that if they did not doubt that God would deliver them. And we teach them that it doesn't always work that way.

We teach them that they are part of a greater good, to rely on their companions and to protect one another. And we pray.

Today marks the 66th anniversary of the beginning of the end of World War II. My father flew bomber support for the troops storming the beaches of Normany. The weather changed day to day and hour by hour. At times, he had to return to base, unable to drop his load for fear of hitting the Allied forces. He never talked much about the war but was proud of the role he played in freeing Europe from tyranny.

He kept in touch with many of the men he served with during that war and the wars that followed. There develops a kinship amongst the men who serve together.

"And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother"

- Henry V, act IV, scene 3