Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Mirror of Imperfection

An hour and a half past bedtime, I rocked my weeping 6-year-old daughter. She was really too big to fit into my lap, but I cradled her, folding her in half so I could hold her without my arms giving out. The litany of "everybody hates me" and "Cami/Alexa/Ana/Mia were mean to me" and "I accidently touched someone when I was putting my coat on, so I had to sit in the office for recess" and "I laughed with my friends and my teacher punished me" garbled and mumbled through wild tears had been going on for a little over an hour.

At one point, I wept with her in the dark, silent tears running down my cheeks as I tried to sniff quietly enough she wouldn't notice. It only makes it worse for her when she senses I'm crying too. But by now, I was numb, whispering "there-there's" and "shhh, it'll get better" as if they were magic spells to ward off the pain she was feeling.

I was helpless. Her fears and anxieties were all too familiar.
For as long as I remember, every slight by harsh and uncaring young peers were like daggers in my heart. And while I'd like to think that nearly thirty years has taught me something of resilience, given me a thicker skin, underneath the calm demeanor, I often still have a hard time letting go of the poisonous darts of life.

I didn't know what to do. She had prayed several minutes ago, but she had wanted to do it alone. In my helpless indecision, I offered yet again to pray for her. This time, she accepted.

"Heavenly Father. My daughter and I are here tonight needing thy help. She is really having a hard time right now."

A fresh bout of sobs echoed in the room, I felt her tiny shoulders and back tense as she curled up more tightly, and I suddenly wondered if her sister was awake in the other room, listening and worrying. She does that, even as young as she is.

"Thou knowest that I have no way to help her right now. I have suffered so long with these same fears, I don't know what to tell her. Bless me with the strength and wisdom to know what to do. Please, Father."

And suddenly, I felt the power of the Spirit move in my heart. I will not share the exact words of the rest of the prayer. But I called down blessings upon her head. It was not pleading for them, as in a prayer of faith. It was a mother's blessing, sanctified by the power of the Spirit.

I did not seek after the Priesthood, I did not lay my hands on her head, bless her with sanctified oil. Nor were the blessings done by the power of the Priesthood. I had not yearned after the ability to call down and bless her, demand it of the Lord or feel, in that moment, inadequate because I could not give her a Priesthood blessing. Likely, had I been married to a worthy Son of God, I would have been moved to call him in to bless her after the order of the Priesthood. The authority I had to bless her was granted me directly in that moment by the Spirit of God. It wasn't my idea, it was His. Not because I sought that authority, but because I have sought long and hard to serve my God in any way I can and at that time I was open to His will.

Perhaps because I am satisfied not to be called to administer in the ordinances of the Priesthood, He blessed me in that moment with ability to heal my daughter. Like magic, as I prayed her little body stilled and relaxed. In a matter of a few minutes, the Spirit of the Lord worked in her. Where she had felt weak, she was able to feel His strength.

In my daughter's tears, I saw myself. My own insecurities and fears were reflected back at me in her words. I was inadequate to help her, imperfect and even in many ways damaged. But God wasn't. I am indescribably grateful that He was able to move through me to reach out to His daughter and mine, new to the ways of the world and the cruelties of others of His children. 

In that moment, I knew that if I could give them my oil, trade ever feeling the Spirit again in this life to know that my daughters would be able to walk in His influence throughout theirs, I would.

A taste of eternity.


  1. You truly have a gift in your writing. Thanks for sharing this special experience. I'm grateful today to be reminded that God knows us individually.

  2. Beautiful. I have had those moments too. Nice that you don't have to make that trade, that walking in the spirit will help them to walk there too. It's meant to be done together. Blessings multiplied.

  3. That was beautiful and moving and perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  4. SilverRainI must echo the "beautiful" comments of Camille, Bonnie, and Tay. That was the word that came to my mind as I read your post. Thanks so much for sharing this.



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