Thursday, May 16, 2013

Touched By An Angel


Today I am reminded that life is short.  I am reminded of the many lessons I learned from one of God’s angels here on this earth.  Today as I mourn for my Bishop and his sweet family with the passing of my friend and exemplar, his wife, their mother and grandma. 
Jill Tharp taught me that angels do walk the earth as she served, lifted the hands that hung, hugged those in need of hugs, and listened to those in need of a listening ear. 
As Spirits on a human journey, we are here to help each other bring life-affirming dreams to fruition - to be Angels on Earth by assisting and supporting one another during times of need, as well as in times of joy.  Jill taught me this by her example.
Sometimes, without our even knowing it, we may be called upon by God or the Angels to answer the prayers of others. Our interactions with others may provide answers to problems you didn't know they had and/or your random acts of kindness may bring happiness to a heart that has been riddled with sadness.  Jill taught me that by her example.

I believe in the expression "what goes around, comes around." I know that as I am helping people, others are helping me. Jill taught me that too.

I am reminded that we are God’s hands and feet here on earth and while God can and does perform miracles all the time at His will, he also uses us to do his wondrous work. We must always be listening for those wonderful opportunities to partner with our Father. They fill our hearts with gladness.  Jill taught me that too.

Today I ask myself what else can I do to follow my friend Jill’s example of kindness, faith, and true Christ-like charity and become an instrument in God’s hands.

The Savior taught, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36–39).

Joseph F. Smith said: “Charity, or love, is the greatest principle in existence. If we can lend a helping hand to the oppressed, if we can aid those who are despondent and in sorrow, if we can uplift and ameliorate the condition of mankind, it is our mission to do it, it is an essential part of our religion to do it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1917, 4). When we feel love for God’s children, we are given opportunities to help them in their journey back to His presence.

In the words of President Faust: “You can be powerful instruments in the hands of God to help bring about this great work. … You can do something for another person that no one else ever born can do” (“Instruments in the Hands of God,”Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2005, 115). God treasures those who help His children. I invite all of us to follow the counsel of the prophets and become instruments in the hands of God and be among His treasures because we have helped His children.

Today, I give gratitude to God for granting me the time I spent getting to know Jill.  I am grateful for her friendship and for the many, many ways she touched my life and the lives of my daughters.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with her and to observe the gospel in action through her quiet example.  I am grateful that I was able to hear her testimony.  I am grateful for the memories – especially the memories my children hold dear.
We have been touched by an angel.  To honor my friend I will work harder to follow her example in listening to the Spirit and lifting the hands that hang, mourning with those that mourn, laughing with those that laugh, strengthening the weak, and spreading the love of God to those that cross my path.
God bless you Jill.  You will be missed.

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