150. "Am I a Friend of Jesus?"
(For K of FL.)
[Spring, 2020 Semi-Final Examination]
Context and Trigger:
My favorite 2020 "prepper website" features articles, stories, books, and comments by "survivalists" around the nation. One of the most prolific authors is known as K--- of FL. Reading a comment she made yesterday, I felt a powerful prompting to attempt a poetic appreciation for her years of service to the community, our country, and our Lord. After printing just the first two stanzas, I had to pause and regroup before the balance of this simple piece (not truly worthy of its subject) was complete. First, the poem, then some notes and further comments. I respectfully submit that our present pandemic is a form of Semi-Final Examination--we will be graded on our work.
150. "Am I a Friend to Jesus?"
Those, in pain, who give us comfort, (1)
Those, distressed, who offer peace.
More than all of Father’s children,
Gain that joy which shall not cease. (2)
Those who gladly share what little
They possess with those with none. (3)
Shall, in God’s due time, be granted
Pardon from the Holy One.
For our little time together (4)
Can be used for selfish gain,
Or a gift we share with others--
Service in the Savior’s name.
As it was from the beginning. (5)
It will be until the end. (6)
Only those who love like Jesus. (7)
Shall be counted as his friends. (8)
Unlimited non-commercial usage allowed.
1. "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief", author: James Montgomery, see verse 5:
Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment—he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
The recipient of this piece has multiple "wounds concealed", and yet she perseveres in enriching the lives of many others with powerfully insightful comments and stories (really e-books) which do not merely entertain but encourage compassion, sharing, service, and good will toward others even under the most adverse circumstances.
2. See, e.g. Philemon 1:1-7, which includes in relevant part, these verses: "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow labourer,... I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother."
3. Again, from "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief", verse 2:
Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel’s portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.
This willingness to give "one's last crust" is striking! It is an act of selflessness and charity which flies in the face of core tenants of traditional "survivalist","Post Apocalyptic War", and "The End of the World as We Know It" literature and philosophy. Now, it is true that Deity has given us a "rule of priority" for how we use our resources, as found in 1 Timothy 5:8, viz: "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." However, it appears that "Jesus' friends" would give their last morsel (after their families are cared for) to those in need.
4. See, "The Closing of the Year", written by Hans Zimmer and Trevor Horn:
If I cannot bring you comfort
Then at least I bring you hope
For nothing is more precious
Than the time we have and so
We all must learn from small misfortune
Count the blessings that are real
Let the bells ring out for Christmas
At the closing of the year
5. Moses became not merely Jehovah's prophet, but His friend: See, Exodus 33:11--"And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle."
6. Compare: Doctrine & Covenants Sec 84:76-78
"But, verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given—from you it must be preached unto them, that they shall repent of their former evil works; for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief, and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you.
"And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you friends, it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach the gospel in my power;
"For I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats.
"Behold, I send you out to prove the world, and the laborer is worthy of his hire."
7. See, Matt. 25:34-40
"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
8. See, John 15:13-17
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another."
Jesus would be our friend. He laid down not merely his life but his good name, his honor, and his entire Messianic being on our behalf. Are we friends of Jesus?
Covid19 presents the "prepper", the "patriot", the "survivalist", and the "Fellow-American" with a stark and uncompromising test of whether we are "Friends of Jesus". Stories of abject selfishness, greed, enmity, and cowardice are myriad. This "small misfortune" [to use a phrase from the Christmas song, "The Closing of the Year"] shall pass. But before it does, each of us will be presented with opportunities to share, to support, to uplift, and to serve others. HOW WILL WE RESPOND? [Our answers will be graded.]
CROSS-REFERENCE AND LINK:
To see K of FL's numerous stories, truly an awesome body of preparedness lore and fervent examples and invitations of good will and service towards the needy (together with some rather succulent recipes) go to her website https://motherhensstorytime.blogspot.com/
There is no "sign-up", no subscription, no fees, no ads, no solicitations. It is a pure act of charity and gift for the Glory of God and the betterment of mankind.