“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace”

This Sunday, someone will be at church and feel like they don’t belong.

Maybe they don’t have as much money everyone else, or maybe they have more money than everyone else.

Maybe they’ve struggled for years with infertility, and their prayers seem to fall on unlistening ears.

Maybe they don’t feel like God could love with them, not with the things they’ve done.

Maybe they’re exhausted from being in leadership callings for years.

Maybe they’ve just found out something new and troubling about the church, and it’s affecting them more than they expected.

Maybe they’re afraid the other guys in priests quorum will find out that they’re attracted to other boys. Maybe they’re terrified that they won’t make it to their 25th birthday.

Maybe they’ve just been fired from a job and feel like failures who can’t provide for their families.

Maybe they’re not able to go back to how they used to believe in the church, and they don’t want anyone to know about their doubts.

Maybe they feel like failed parents because a child has left the church.

Maybe they’re not sure how to tell parents, friends, and leaders they don’t think they should go on a mission.

Maybe they won’t be at church because it’s just too hard.

Sometimes, there seems to be so much pain in the world. It can be easy to feel helpless.

On the other hand, maybe you and I, even while carrying our own burdens, could ease those of someone else. Maybe we could reach out to someone and say hi and smile. Maybe we can make a new friend. Maybe we can listen to another and love without judgment. Maybe we can echo, to some extent, the love that God has for his imperfect, struggling children and help make their burdens lighter.

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