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The Time We Need

By Heather Herrick

My good friend’s step-dad died on Sunday night.  He was in his early-60’s and healthy as far as we all knew.  But he just fell over and died.  My friend didn’t have any details when she told me, but she just kept saying, “I’m so sad.”  However, this sadness is coupled with relief that her relationship with him, that has been difficult in the past, has been better the past few years.  She is relieved that she doesn’t hold the same anger towards him as she has before, glad that things are better, that they have shared love and not just misunderstanding.

Another friend of mine recently had one of his close friends die in a helicopter crash.  They hadn’t seen each other in a while due to this man’s job that took him all over the world, but they had been in touch via email and were looking forward to seeing one another again as soon as he returned to the US.  Because of the suddenness of it all, because of his youth, because most people in his life feel like precious time they should have been able to spend with him has been stolen away I have had many conversations with my friend about how we want to conduct our lives, how we want to act in our relationships with our Heavenly Father’s other children.

We do not know if we will have time to forgive someone later.  We can not know if the plans we have for tomorrow will come to pass.  All we know is that we are here now.  This makes it even more vital to seek charity in each of our relationships.  If someone has wronged us, it is time today to access the Savior’s atonement and let him heal us; we can in turn have His pure love fill us and it will guide and comfort us as we interact and care for the people in our life.  Carol Petranek’s article in our current issue, Watching Over Mom, explores her search for this kind of charity in her relationship with her mother after her father’s death.  I love how she shows us her journey: what she had to realize, how she had to change, and ultimately the joy that came from her work at charity.

What enables you to conduct your life with charity?  How do you remember to use the time we have in the way we need to?  What insights did you gain from Carol’s article?

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About Heather Herrick

Heather currently lives in the center of the universe (she’s not being egotistical, it’s true—ask any other New Yorker). She loves NYC, but misses the mountains of Utah where she grew up. Heather and her husband are glad that the baby from her poem now sleeps alone; baby two spoils her mama by having the cutest dimple ever, and hopefully will not become a kicker like her sister.

4 thoughts on “The Time We Need”

  1. I don't have trouble wanting to have more charity. I pray every day for it. The challenge is in moving from wanting to becoming. It seems to require the most amazing balance–taking total responsibility within my relationships to become humble, to make changes, to ask forgiveness, while at the same time admitting my total dependence on God for the inner transformation that is required. Despite all the work that goes into developing charity, when the actual healing takes place it is always a spiritual gift.

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  2. I have found that the closer to the Spirit I live, the more charitable I feel toward pretty much everyone on earth.

    If I'm grumpy, suddenly everyone is out to get me — drivers, neighbors, nice church ladies. But if I have taken the time to draw the Spirit into my day, suddenly the intentions of those around me seem so much closer to what I imagine reality is.

    It works that way with my extended family, too. I sometimes need to keep the Spirit with me to remind me that they're not all out to get me.

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  3. I learned the hard way–you do have to work for charity, but you also have to ask fervently for it. It is a gift from heaven I don't know that we can attain fully by ourselves.

    Without offering too much detail, I can say that at one point in my life I was required to live with and work with someone who was known for being really hard on the people she worked with. It was, to be honest, emotionally exhausting to do so–to the point I became physically sick. But it had to be and when I realized that for whatever reason this was what the Lord wanted of me at that time I knew I had two choices: Be miserable or learn to love that person. I chose the latter and literally pleaded for charity. Our time together wasn't easy, but my prayer was answered and the difference in both of us was amazing.

    Your second question is something I have been mulling over for some time now. As I struggle to find balance between my immediately family, work, callings and friends, I feel torn wanting also to divide my time between a newly widowed grandmother, another grandmother–one with much less family around–caring for an ailing husband, and a friend who has recently lost both parents and who is trying to go it alone in spite of a disability. I don't have any answers for that one except that to hope that my muddling through this time in my life will somehow be enough.

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