This subject has been resting in my mind for a little over a week. I had a deep discussion with a dear friend of mine last weekend and it ended in us talking about broken things.. that each are broken at one point in our life, and from one thing or another.
I remembered two powerful things in my life that had to do with this topic. First was a time that I felt the spirit so POWERFULLY at EFY while this principle was being taught. and Second how I felt when an apostle of the Lord addressed us with this very topic.
One of the Coordinators at an EFY counselor training shared a story about a time that he was able to go with a youth to meet with an apostle at church headquarters. This youth had been through some really hard family issues and this apostle has been made aware of them and had asked to meet with the youth to give an apostolic blessing. Fernando related this experience with us and the spirit completely filled the room and tears began to flow from all in attendance. The apostle shared with this youth an experience he had while visiting in Jerusalem a while back. While on a tour of this sacred city he saw a Shepard in the distance who was carrying a lamb around his neck. He thought that it was quite interesting seeing in person what he had seen depicted in pictures many times before. He asked the tour guide if he could go closer and meet this Shepard. When he got there he asked the Shepard, why he carried the lamb around his neck to which the Shepard replied that the lamb had broken legs. You see, this lamb wandered away from the flock and when lambs do this the Shepard would break their legs and carry the lamb around their neck until the lamb recognized the Shepard's voice and then they would put the lamb back down and the lamb would never stray because it knew the Shepard's voice!
This illustration has meant the world to me. There are so many times in our lives when we too feel broken or are broken. Whether it is something that we ourselves did or something that was done to us we are in the need of "The Shepard's" healing. We need to be picked up, carried around his neck, and then taught his ways and learn once again what his voice is saying to us. We each have those broken things to mend in our lives.
In this very talk by Elder Holland he teaches us that not only does the Lord know the way out, he knows the way up! He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way.
Many of you understand how much I have been deeply touched by this apostle of the Lord. I have had such intimate and personal experiences through his words and actions that I will never doubt that he is a man of God and a true messenger of Jesus Christ. The closing of this talk gives a plea to us all:
"Brothers and sisters, whatever your distress, please don’t give up and please don’t yield to fear. I have always been touched that as his son was departing for his mission to England, Brother Bryant S. Hinckley gave young Gordon a farewell embrace and then slipped him a handwritten note with just five words taken from the fifth chapter of Mark: “Be not afraid, only believe.” I think also of that night when Christ rushed to the aid of His frightened disciples, walking as He did on the water to get to them, calling out, “It is I; be not afraid.” Peter exclaimed, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Christ’s answer to him was as it always is every time: “Come,” He said. Instantly, as was his nature, Peter sprang over the vessel’s side and into the troubled waters. While his eyes were fixed upon the Lord, the wind could toss his hair and the spray could drench his robes, but all was well—he was coming to Christ. It was only when his faith wavered and fear took control, only when he removed his glance from the Master to look at the furious waves and the ominous black gulf beneath, only then did he begin to sink into the sea. In newer terror he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
Undoubtedly with some sadness, the Master over every problem and fear, He who is the solution to every discouragement and disappointment, stretched out His hand and grasped the drowning disciple with the gentle rebuke, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.
In Nazareth, the narrow road,
That tires the feet and steals the breath,
Passes the place where once abode
The Carpenter of Nazareth.
And up and down the dusty way
The village folk would often wend;
And on the bench, beside Him, lay
Their broken things for Him to mend.
The maiden with the doll she broke,
The woman with the broken chair,
The man with broken plough, or yoke,
Said, “Can you mend it, Carpenter?”
And each received the thing he sought,
In yoke, or plough, or chair, or doll;
The broken thing which each had brought
Returned again a perfect whole.
So, up the hill the long years through,
With heavy step and wistful eye,
The burdened souls their way pursue,
Uttering each the plaintive cry:
“O Carpenter of Nazareth,
This heart, that’s broken past repair,
This life, that’s shattered nigh to death,
Oh, can You mend them, Carpenter?”
And by His kind and ready hand,
His own sweet life is woven through
Our broken lives, until they stand
A New Creation—“all things new.”
I am so thankful to know that I too can be mended of broken things. I have needed mending so many times and I have clung to the hope and called out "Lord, save me!" and he has done just that. He has sent someone my way, given me the words to read, or spoke peace to my soul in ways that no one else could have healed me and made me feel whole. I am thankful that it is never too late to be mended, that no matter how long we have held on to the broken things that we can be made whole again in every way. The Savior DOES LIVE! He DID atone for our sins! He is the ultimate healer of our hearts, minds, and souls. May we all be mended in the ways that only HE understands!