A very dear friend just reminded me of an essay I had written back in high school about the hymn Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy. I love that hymn very much and I wish that I still had that essay I wrote so many years ago. I will quote here the words of the hymn and attempt to recall some of the sentiment I expressed then, but more importantly that which I now feel.

1. Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
2. Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.
3. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.
I have always had a deep desire to reach out and save the "fainting, struggling seaman" or the lost sheep which has wandered from the fold. I don't know what it is about me, but this concept has always been rooted deep in my heart.

I have had many long, meaningful discussions with a new friend lately, one that in some ways I saw as a "struggling seaman" whom I was intended to save. I don't recall if I ever expressed that to him, but at any rate he felt that was how I saw him and pointed out how arrogant it was of me to do so. I must agree with him. It is rather arrogant of me to feel as though I have been called to save some poor, unfortunate soul who, without me, would be lost and depraved. 

Am I saying that I shouldn't try to seek lost sheep and bring them back? Of course not. I'm merely saying that I want to be more humble about how I help other people. I want to help other people--not just as much as I have done in the past, but much much more than that. I want to go out of my way to help people. That's just the way I am. But I never want to make someone else feel as though I am their hero and without me they would be lost. I want to help people feel good about themselves, and let them know that they are capable of making good choices on their own--that their judgment is good and valid. I have been going about this all wrong in the past--particularly the recent past. I want to become more compassionate and empathetic. I wish to truly try to see the world through someone else's eyes. I hope to be able to lift people's spirits, not to show how wonderful I am or how much better I am at life than anyone else. I'm not better at life than other people. Just like everyone else, I'm just here trying to figure everything out. That's one thing I need to remember. 

I love my Heavenly Father and I love all of His children and I want to live my life so that that love is evident.