...in the way that best draws your heart to Him….
President Erying’s instruction left me pondering. What way is that for me? What can I remember about the Savior that best draws my heart to Him?
I can tell you what it is not.
It is not remembering Him on the cross. I hate thinking of His hands and feet and wrist pierced by nails cruelly pounded into His flesh. I hate thinking of anyone suffering. Any one. Suffering is not something I like to dwell on. And I hate to think of the cruelty that leads to such suffering. It is unimaginable to me how a human could treat a fellow being with barbarous cruelty ….and I prefer to leave it unimagined.
Neither is it remembering Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. I cannot comprehend how He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind nor can I understand how He endured our collective burdens. My failure to comprehend hinders my ponderings and therefore is not what best draws my heart to Him.
Remembering the feeding of the five thousand draws my heart to Him. Compassionate—They were hungry and far from home. Empathetic—He’d been hungry too. Proactive—He felt their need and filled it.
Remembering Him teaching Peter to walk on water draws my heart to Him. Teaching—I, too, am a teacher. He instructed Peter. “Come,” He said, giving Peter a task that stretched him, made him grow. Peter walked….and grew. And when he started to fail, as all learners do at one time or another, “immediately Jesus stretched for his hand and caught him” and instructed him again. “Oh thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” He said, teaching Peter where he had failed and empowering him to succeed the next time.
Remembering when He calmed the storm draws my heart to Him. “And he arose and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea ‘Peace, be still.’” Peace be still. The story reminds me of His power and His peace….and of the many times His Power has brought His peace into my life.
Remembering His focus on individuals—His one-on-one conversation with woman at the well, the search for the one lost sheep, the father’s singular interview with his humble, prodigal son and later a one-on-one chat with his non-prodigal, non-humble son, one good Samaritan who helped one beleaguered traveler, the visit when He addressed Joseph Smith by name—REALLY warms my heart to Him. I know that I am not a member of a multitude to Him; that His love for me is individual.
Perhaps it is this love—personal and powerful— that best draws my heart to Him. “We love him because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) He does love us. He loves us, not as in “us: a collective group of humanity” but you and me and the neighbor next door who has the annoying barking dog and the refugee in the camp in Syria.
He loves us all and it was His love that drew Him here….to take on a mortal body…. and lie humbly in a manger…. and die ignominiously on a cross…and rise triumphantly from a tomb.
He loves me and remembering this is what best draws my heart to Him.
In this Christmas season, and always, let us choose to remember Him.