Horseradish and Happy Hearts

By Joann Condit of Phoenix, Arizona, USA

The Spirit of the One you follow is the spirit of love and peace. That Spirit seeks to abide in the hearts of those who would embrace its call and live its message. The path will not always be easy, the choices will not always be clear, but the cause is sure and the Spirit will bear witness to the truth, and those who live the truth will know the hope and the joy of discipleship in the community of Christ. Amen.  Doctrine and Covenants 161:7

I was in Idaho visiting Mom for the last days of her life. I came from Florida for that precious visit. We talked, we remembered, we laughed, and yes, we cried. Still, it was a time of joy.

One afternoon Dad dug horseradish roots. The next day, Mom and I scrubbed the roots and began to put them through an electric grinder. The roots were tough, pungent. Our eyes streamed with tears. The grinder growled and grew hot from its efforts. We laughed, shouted, shed tears—a memory I cherish still.

I took four small jars of horseradish with me back to Florida. Before we used even the smallest jar, my mother’s life had ended. She was 64, and I grieved those lost years that we would never share. Each time I used a dab of horseradish, though, I remembered that beautiful autumn day and our shared laughter and industry.

Two years or more passed, and there remained only one small jar of horseradish. I used it sparingly, fearing that when it was gone, my mother and our joy together would be lost forever. I didn’t realize the power of God’s blessed gift of memory. A hint of horseradish and I can recall in vivid sound and color that October day 33 years ago. I can see my mother as we built memories.

We never lose those we love when we remember them in joy and gratitude. Pain fades, but joy remains. Thank you, God, for the blessed gift of memory.

Prayer for Peace:

God of laughter, God of tears, we praise you for our happy years.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Offering Blessings of Community

Each day this week receive and share blessings of community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the network of relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life.

What blessings flow to you from these circles? Reflect, pray, and write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you “discern and embrace” the “divine blessing” of this name that opens you to “become a blessing to the whole creation” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:1). What act of blessing are you invited to complete?

Peace Covenant:

God, today I will make choices that look ahead to your sure cause.

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