Wednesday, March 27, 2013


On Sunday I went to church. I looked 3 pews ahead of me, and saw Denise Morgan (not her real name). She and her husband are in their early 70's. They returned to their home last August after spending 18 months serving their Church by reaching out to and mentoring young LDS folks in Arizona, giving them a chance to have a family and a place where they could safely discuss their religious questions. The Morgan's also participated in developing an LDS Institute program where these same young adults could receive a formal education regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Shortly after returning home Thomas Morgan was asked to be the Bishop (leader) of his LDS congregation. Usually this calling is given to someone in their 40's-50's, but it isn't unusual for someone older to receive this opportunity. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates on a volunteer basis with lay leaders rather than paid leaders. Thomas and his wife said, "yes" to this calling.

At the same time as these transitions to home and church were happening, Denise was having headaches. She received 8 surgeries to drain and repair her sinus cavities.

On Sunday, I saw Denise, and walked up to give her a hug prior to our service beginning. She and her husband are aware of my cancer. I sat down next to her - both of us with shorter than usual hair, reached across to give her a hug, and she quietly said to me, "It's cancer." Oh my; I was so sad, so very very sad to hear this news. We chatted for a moment about where we both were in our treatment plans, and then I hurried back to our pew as the opening song began.

I love music. I love hymns, sacred songs that speak not just to my ears but to my soul. A congregational song began, and the words touched me like they have never spoken to me before.

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified.
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

O it is wonderful that He should care for me
Enough to die for me!
O it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine;
That He should extend His great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

I think of His side, pierced and bleeding to pay the debt,
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no! I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
And testify all my desires He doth fully meet.
(Mormon ending: Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.)

As I had been thinking on the justice, mercy, grace triangle, I listened, rather than sang, and was touched that all 3 are presented here. Denise, myself, others who have been dealt a card they were not expecting, we will be OK. Whether believers or not, we provide each other with the out-stretched hand, we give and receive. Believers - His hand is there for us to reach toward, to grab onto, and we are rescued. 

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