Day 27 of the not-so 30-Day Blog Challenge will be delayed another day until I can take a picture of campus.
In the meantime, I'm going to deviate from the regularly scheduled program to make a few observations.
First, the people in my ward are sensational. I saw a friend pulled over on the side of the road on my way to church this morning, so I stopped to make sure she was okay. Some people on their way to church saw me and called or stopped to make sure I was okay. I hear that they even made an announcement in church to see if anyone had a spare tire that would work for my truck. (They didn't realize that I wasn't the one with a flat.)
My second observation is about the people who stopped or called me. I knew them all by sight and reputation, though I have certainly never spoken with all of them before, and they knew me.
This is what I want you to learn from this, dear reader: People notice you. Etch it onto your heart.
Several times in my life, I have felt alone, abandoned, unwanted, unwelcome, even invisible. Each time I was pulled out of that ocean of despair by someone I didn't expect knowing my name and calling it out as though it were the most natural thing to say in the world, as though they'd been addressing me for years.
While I haven't felt that utter loneliness in a long time, I was still surprised today by the people who came to my rescue and checked on me like we were friends who frequently hung out. It turns out that these people are as aware of me as I am of them.
Many people may feel it's trite to say that people notice what you do. In the past, I myself have blown it off as an exaggerated maxim. Please believe me when I say that it is not. Something I've been learning recently is that no sensation we experience is unique to us. This is not trite, either. To prove it, let me tell you about my friend Laura. We've only known each other for two weeks, but I've already lost track of how many times we've spoken out in sync or discovered that we were trying to describe the exact same feeling in the exact same words. Joy, anger, fear, frustration, sorrow, homesickness, infatuation, contentment: To whatever extent and in whatever shade you have felt them, felt anything, I promise you that someone else has felt them in exactly the same way.
This universal principle of emotion is how I know that someone else has felt that crushing solitude, like they could just blow away on the wind and no one would notice. To you who feel that: Do not believe it.
Someone sees you. Someone knows your name. Someone cares that you are there.
As a Christian who frequently spends time with other Christians, I have often heard people try to comfort one another with the words "Jesus knows what you're going through." While I believe this to be true, I know how feeble that saying can be when you're floundering in crippling emotion. I also know that not everyone believes in Christ. I know that some people do not believe in the existence of any deity at all.
You don't always have to try to find comfort in a higher power. There is someone in your life, even if you aren't aware of them yet, who is aware of you. There is someone who concretely knows what you're going through.
You are not alone.
Listening to: "Abide With Me; 'Tis Eventide" by Catherine Papworth
Reading: Avalon High by Meg Cabot