Outreach

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.
[Chorus]
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.