From: Francis Harper
Walk by Faith, message for 8/4/17
We need to improve our abilities to see the invisible and unseen. During an evening service at a Saints’ Reunion this summer, an elderly lady suddenly came to sit by me. It was obvious that she was upset. She began to quietly sob when I asked her to explain the cause of her tears. The theme for the day was “Having love one to another.” She said, “I feel like an invisible woman. No one seems to know or care that I am here.”
I thought we were a loving and caring community at reunion! How could this happen here? Perhaps we were so happily engaged in greeting our old friends we had ignored the new person in the camp? Later in the week the lonely lady was doing much better. On the last day of reunion she was expressing her desire to return again next year. Hopefully this experience has taught us to watch for the unseen and invisible persons in our communities and neighborhoods.
A college student shared a lesson he had learned about invisible persons. One of his professors gave a pop quiz during one of his classes. He wrote, “I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the name of the woman who cleans the classrooms?” Surely this was some kind of a joke! I had seen the cleaning woman many times. She was tall, dark-haired and appeared to be in her fifties, but how could I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. ‘Absolutely,’ said the professor. ‘In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant and important. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.’ I have never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.” “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D & C 16:3c).
None were neglected or went unnoticed by the Lord. It is recorded that when Jesus appeared to the people in Meso-America, “the multitude went forth and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; And this they did do, going forth one by one” (3 Nephi 5:15-16). Later when he blessed the children, “he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them” (3 Nephi 8:23).
The Lord knows every one of us and is aware of our needs and every heartfelt desire and concern within us. We need to ask him to assist us in seeing the invisible persons and the unseen needs of those we meet on life’s pathway.
On May 9, 1994, I prayed, “Lord, send someone to me today whom I can bring to you.” He brought a high school student; a person I least suspected would come, a co-captain of our football team. He asked, “Francis, can I join your church?” After being taught, he was baptized. Today he is happily married and he and his wife have two children. They attend church regularly and assist in the ministry.
On January 11, 1995, I prayed that the Lord would send someone I could help that day. I waited for someone to come, and in the afternoon a man came. The first words he spoke were, “Francis, I need your help!” He was facing foreclosure on his home. I loaned him the amount he needed, and he later paid the loan in full. Needless to say, I gained a lifelong friend.
The Lord will help us see the unseen ministry needed by people who may be our next-door neighbors!
Love and blessings to all,