Contrarian Easter

General Musings

I complain too much. I tend to be a contrarian. I’m not sure I like either trait. Okay, maybe they are really two aspects of the same trait. I, unlike the Savior and Joseph Smith do not have a cheery temperament. Most of the time I wish I did. My attempts are frequent and sometimes there is a glimmer of hope only to be dashed on the rocks of human failure. I'm certain I need to learn to be more forgiving.

That said, I left our ward Easter Sunday program with mixed feelings. On the one hand a woman whose voice I love (she’s an islander and I love islanders because their spirits tend to the deep and beautiful) sang “His Hands" by Kenneth Cope. I soaked two paper towel squares I carry in my pocket for just such occasions. I love that song. If you’re unfamiliar with it, I submit the lyrics for your review.

His hands
Tools of creation
Stronger than nations
Power without end
And yet through them we find our truest friend
His hands
Sermons of kindness
Healing men's blindness
Halting years of pain
Children waiting to be held again

His hands would serve His whole life through
Showing man what hands might do
Giving, ever giving, endlessly
Each day was filled with selflessness
And I'll not rest until I make of my hands what they could be
'Til these hands become like those from Galilee

His hands
Lifting a leper
Warming a beggar
Calling back the dead
Breaking bread, five thousand fed
His hands
Hushing contention
Pointing to heaven
Ever free of sin
Then bidding man to follow him

His hands would serve His whole life through
Showing man what hands might do
Giving, ever giving, endlessly
Each day was filled with selflessness
And I'll not rest until I make of my hands what they could be
'Til these hands become like those from Galilee

His hands
Clasped in agony
As He lay pleading, bleeding in the garden
While just moments away
Other hands betray Him
Out of greed, shameful greed
And then His hands
Are trembling
Straining to carry the beam that they'll be nailed to
As He stumbles through the streets
Heading for the hill on which He'd die
He would die
They take His hands, His mighty hands, those gentle hands
And then they pierce them, they pierce them
He lets them, because of love
From birth to death was selflessness
And clearly now I see Him with His hands
Calling to me
And though I'm not yet as I would be
He has shown me how I could be
I will make my hands like those from Galilee

— by Kenneth Cope

These are precious words describing the most precious life lived on this earth. Only He could have done what He did. It had to be done voluntarily. It had to be done for love and no other motive. I am continuously astonished that this being has done what He has done, and continues to do every moment of our existence. To say He is love is a galactic understatement. We have no idea what His love is. We are not capable of understanding His love. It is beyond our ability to comprehend. It is God’s love. And all of it is available for us. This continues to astonish me, that I am somewhere on His radar, that He knows my name. Me, the contrarian.

So I’m sitting in Sacrament meeting today overwhelmed by this song. When it was over and I had soaked the aforementioned paper towel squares, I thought for a moment about the talk that had preceded the song. The woman who was assigned to speak, announced that her subject was something about the Relief Society and was based on two general conference talks. Oh joy. More vanilla pudding.

The contrarian in me wanted to stand and blurt out, “But this is Easter Sunday. Why is your talk not on the Savior?” Why indeed? But then the song, and I was awash in forgiveness and humility contemplating our precious Savior and “His Hands.”

Then the next speaker stood to speak and humbly announced that his time was short and he would leave his subject, that of King Benjamin, for another time, bore a brief testimony and sat down. I was stunned. Neither talk in the Easter Sacrament Meeting was based around the Savior. Relief Society history and King Benjamin, those were our Easter messages. Certainly worthy messages on any other occasion, but today?

I wonder what a visitor would have thought, who happened into that meeting because they read the sign, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” thinking they might like to hear a message about Jesus on Easter. Surely a church with a name like that would have an inspiring message about Christ and Him risen, on Easter. But nooooooo.

My contrarian ways have gotten the better of me. I had meant to write something about the Savior today. This wasn’t it.

In The General Musings Category
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