So, today is my birthday. I am trying this new thing where I don't even pretend like it is not my birthday. It has actually been kinda fun, too... But this post is not about me being a birthday princess or whatever (I am still not completely sold that making it another year alive in todays world is really cause for celebration) it is about a gift that I was given that cannot be held or touched.
I had been sitting in my religion class this afternoon for maybe 5 minutes when my stomach suddenly felt like it was going to explode. I tried to sit there and let it pass but that definitely was not happening--happy birthday to me. So, I awkwardly get up and walk past the projector screen to get to the door to head to the bathroom. Just when I thought that sweet relief was near... The bathroom door was locked. Who locks a public bathroom on a college campus in the middle of the day? Weird I know. Now I am walk-running all the way to the other side of the building to the other bathroom praying that this one was not also locked. Hallelujah that it wasn't. Well, I took care of things. That was a relief. As I was washing my hands I could hear someone crying. I looked around to find out where it was coming from and spotted someone sitting on the floor in the end stall. I slowly approached not knowing what I was going to do next, but knowing that I could not leave this poor soul all alone on the floor of the bathroom. The door to the stall was closed and I still didn't know what to say so I slowly sunk to the floor and reached my hand underneath the door. It seemed like hours I sat there waiting for her to grab my hand. Eventually a tiny, sweaty, shaky hand grabbed mine and held tight. In that moment I could feel all of her sadness and pain and anxiety flow into my body and I began to cry as well. I knew then that no words were needed. All that was required was for this sweet girl to know that she was not alone.
How many times have we felt utterly isolated? Cried and begged for someone to care just for a moment. I don't know a single person who has not been there, crumpled on the bathroom floor. How many times do we hear or tell ourselves that we are not alone? That Christ has felt what we are feeling, that He is there for us. In dark moments I try to remind myself of this but if I am being totally honest I don't know if I can always feel it. I am usually too focused on myself.
Today I was given a gift that goes beyond any description. For just a moment I was allowed a tiny glimpse into how the Savior feels about me and about each of his children. As I connected with my new friend in the girls bathroom, I felt nothing but love for her. I wanted with everything in my soul to take her pain away or to at least help her carry it. As I stretched out my hand and waited, I knew that this is what Jesus does for us. He holds out His hand and waits as long as it takes for us to take it. And He will never let go.
This is the greatest gift.