She Left with a Smile

Friday, May 10

5.10By Julie Conway-Sword of Gainesville, Florida, 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 Covenants161:7

Bev was eating alone at the motel breakfast bar when my husband, Marion, entered to get a cup of coffee. He noticed her despondent look and kindly joined her in conversation. The night before we had celebrated our 60-year high school reunion at a banquet, and now it was over. Bev was alone again. It had been only a few weeks since her husband, Bill, had passed away after many years of her caregiving.

Marion and I were on a schedule to attend the special service at the Temple, memorializing the tragedy of 9/11. We estimated that if we left by 7:00 a.m. and drove straight through, we could arrive in time. But here sat Bev, desperately needing to talk, and it seemed right to give her our full attention. Nothing else seemed important.

We listened as she unraveled the story of her husband’s illness, surgeries, recoveries, uncertain future, and the way he finally slipped away to peace in his heavenly home. We listened until she was talked out. Then we exchanged phone numbers, prayed together, and hugged. Because we had spent time with her, she told us, she felt that coming to the reunion had been helpful after all. She left with a smile.

We arrived at the Temple a half an hour early and realized we had been blessed by being a blessing. God is compassionate.

Prayer for Peace
Companion God, we praise you for your faithful presence. When hurting souls don’t feel you near, may we be your presence for them. When others don’t feel at peace, may we share Christ’s peace with them.

Spiritual Practice: Healing for Broken Spirits
Begin with quiet prayer. Ask God to help you discern some “sore places” in the body of Christ and in God’s creation. Become aware of people who feel separated, wounded, or left out. Reflect on or write a short journal entry of healing words to at least one person who comes to mind. Ask God for words that will touch this person’s broken spirit like healing ointment. Keep this person in your heart and prayers today and act on any ideas that come to bring blessing and wholeness.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will make myself aware of the lonely, and respond with compassion.

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