I have a new friend, and I love her. Nita Lee is her name and she is adorable. We met on a flight from Oakland to Las Vegas at 6 am. By the way, the comedian who said any flight that requires you to be at the airport before 10 am should be free, is so right. I decided before I ever boarded the plane that I was NOT going to speak to anyone. I was cranky to be up so early, I was suspicious of my breath, no makeup and my hair was in a bun because I used that stuff in my hair that makes it stringy cement. I looked awful. I held on to this decision until Nita Lee sat down and pulled out her bible to start studying. Before long I knew that she is from a little town in Texas about 5 miles from where I grew up, loves to study the bible, loves Mary Kay and she loves the Lord.
Before I said a word to her the impression came to, "just let her teach you."
That's weird, I know everything, but I was too tired to argue, or even think about anything profound. I was thrilled someone else was going to be teaching. So I just sat back....
And guess what? She did. Teach me....We talked about fear, we talked about faith, we talked about tithing.....but mostly we talked about the Savior. When we started talking about tithing, I said, "I am intrigued, most churches don't pay tithing.....where did that come from in your life?" She just kind of stared at me, "It's in Malachi, the old testament" I knew where the scripture was, what I didn't understand was how she knew. And then I realized what I was really thinking, and what I was thinking made me a little queasy. It was pretty prideful. This is what Nita Lee was sent to teach me........That not only do I not know it all, I don't know very much. Whereas I had learned about tithing from missionaries, Sunday School teachers, Bishops, conference, and the scriptures......Nita Lee learned about tithing from God. She read it in Malachi and simply embraced it. No one had to tell her to do it, it was just there in the bible, plain as day...she read it and did it.
I felt like a tree stump.
This has been happening to me a lot. Learning from people I never thought could teach me a thing. But yet there it is. Joanna Brooks, Nita Lee, Amber Price........
Joanna taught me that there are all kinds of Mormons. And it isn't really my business what kind of Mormon they are. I am here to be obedient, and the Savior asked me to love one another....He just wants me to love, and He doesn't want me to qualify those relationships, to just love easy people who constantly agree with me, nope love all people....Love people and serve them. Judge them? I don't think so.
Nita taught me that people love the Savior unequivocally, without bounds....
Amber taught me to accept where people are in the journey, and just love them.
People have always been my favorite thing, I love watching them, I love talking to them, I just love people...I am not as interested in what people believe in as much as I want to know how they got there. I really love to hear people's stories. But I have read a lot of angry blogs lately. There are some angry Mormons out there, and some angry ex Mormons, and then just some angry people....a lot of anger...
We are totally missing the point of life.....the real point of life is to love each other. And we are doing a terrible job of it right now. I am doing a terrible job of it right now. We have lost any peace we might have.
That is why the Lord sent Joanna Brooks to me, to see another side. Life is far more 3 dimensional than I ever realized.
Nita Lee is my friend so I can see the walk that other people have with Christ.....
And then Amber.......her voice is just not heard, and it is frustrating to her. Frustration is an emotion that needs an outlet or it will explode. We need to give people the space to vent without judging, or offering a cure to their confusion. We don't have to give solutions or even advice. But we do need to give each other some time, and some space....just to think things through. And then let the Holy Ghost do the teaching and advising
I visited a woman a while back that felt disenfranchised. The church that she loved at one time was not in her life, and she was alternately angry and sad. I understood both. She would like to come back, but at this point has no idea why she would, or how. So I said what I always do, you have to love something big enough to overcome the small things that keep us away. We are a community of Christ...He is the biggest thing....when we keep our eyes on Him all the other things fall into place. Whatever that looks like for us. Let Him lead you.....honestly go to Him with your tantrums, with your heart breaks and pain. Study His life...try to imagine all the time what He would do in any given situation.
And so this is why Joanna is my dear friend, I love her gentle emails....the way she hurts when she feels someone is being left out. And Nita telling me today that she found the perfect wedding dress because Jesus loves her! And she is so right!!
The Savior is no respecter of people, and when we start looking at each other the way He looks at us, we will be happier. Because we will really see the kind of world we live in...a peaceful world filled with the most amazing creatures.
I so hope I wrote clearly enough what was in my heart. Love to all
Matthew 6: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.