Friday, June 11, 2010

wherever I'm with you

Scribbed in a little notebook, Sunday, May 16th:

I’ve been in Australia just three days. It’s been lovely and I’ve enjoyed it and never felt like too much of an outsider. It’s been comfortable and safe and I’ve been happy to be here. But then today, settled on a pew in Sacrament meeting, I realized that until that moment, I hadn’t yet quite felt at home in Australia. I realized it because, sitting there holding my green hymnbook in a meeting that had started the customary five minutes late, seeing men in suits and women in dresses, there, in the chapel, I was home. I was among family, with people who knew me and understood me and spoke my language, as comfortable and as belonging as any other person in the room. I was home.

As I sat there, overwhelmed by the feeling of love and unity and home being among the saints, a question kept coming to mind—how can I leave? I had been planning to depart before Sunday School and Relief Society to journey on to the next destination in our Aussie adventure, but as Sacrament meeting went on, the question wouldn’t go away—how can I leave? I have a chance to be in the comfort of what feels like my own home for a few precious hours while on this faraway continent. How can I leave? What out there in Australia could be any better than this?

As the question rang through me, I realized it applied on a much grander scale than that of those few hours while on vacation. The Church, its people, its teachings, are my home. Here I am wanted, I belong, I am comfortable, I am safe. Here I am loved, and always will be. How then can I ever leave?

And though while I sat in church in Australia, it may have initially seemed that the familiarity and comfort came from the green hymnbooks, the ubiquitous LDS typeface, the standard wardrobe, the manuals, I know that the true reason that the chapel felt like home was because of the love of my Savior that I felt there. It was the truths of the Gospel that were being taught. It was the presence of the Spirit and the shared desire to come closer to Christ. These things are what united me with those gathered in a small chapel in a huge high-rise in downtown Sydney, and those things are what will unite me with the Church and its gospel for all of my life. This gospel is my home. How can I leave?

1 comment:

Betancourt Family said...

Trace, that is beautiful. I am so grateful that you shared that moment. Thank you.