On Wednesday night when Talmage was in so much pain when we got home from the hospital and he was crying, which made Sydney cry, which almost made me cry, I felt alone.
How could I handle all this crying and make Talmage's pain go away and assure Sydney that everything was going to be ok?
I really was not alone, there are so many people I could call to come help, but it was still overwhelming.
In my hour of need I called Natalie who of course came right over with a heating pad, hot water bottle, and Sprite for Talmage (and lemon tea cookies for me). She was the one who took this picture and captured this exhausted heap of mother and son. Sometime before or after(?) this picture was taken, with Talmage still crying in pain from a bloated tummy, Natalie held Talmage and patted his back while I went to get some medicine upstairs that I thought might help relieve the pressure in T's tummy. While I was gone for just that minute, Talmage was finally able to throw up just enough to relieve the pain and then he was able to fall into an exhausted slumber.
I was thinking about this tonight. About aloneness. I was sitting on the back patio snuggled up with Sydney and Talmage reading them the last few chapters of "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" (an amazing book that a friend recommended to me) about the aloneness of a china rabbit.
The words were so beautiful. So hopeful. So applicable.
Strangely enough, some parallels from this lovely children's book about a china rabbit and the lesson from the New Testament that I taught on Sunday came to my mind. (I really am so grateful to have the opportunity to do what I had always thought would be the scariest thing imaginable: teach Sunday School to a room full of people much more knowledgeable than me. Preparing for these lessons has helped me find incredible strength for my challenges from the lessons in the Bible.)
In Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34 it is recorded that Jesus said "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The Sunday School manual says: What did Jesus experience on the cross that enabled him to understand and help us when we feel alone? Why is it important to know that the Savior can bear not only our sins but also our loneliness, grief, and fear?
I love what Elder Jeffery R. Holland said about this, about aloneness:
"Because he must ultimately tread this wine press of redemption unaided, can he endure the darkest moment of them all, the shock of the greatest pain? This comes not with the thorns and with nails, but with the terror of feeling utterly alone...'My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34). Can he bear all of our sins and our fear and loneliness too? He did and he does and he will."
I love that.
I am sure that all of us feel alone at times. Even the ever optimistic and peppy Dr. Seuss warned us about this in 'Oh the Places You'll Go':
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
Well said Dr. Seuss, well said.