One night, not too long ago, Polly Pocket went missing. I'm certain all the weeping and wailing that was resounding from my little home, led neighbors to believe we were hosting a wake. Ms. Lilly was that distraught.
Lilly informed me (right as I was tucking her into bed for the night...that child's timing is impeccable) that she couldn't find Polly Pocket anywhere, and that we "HAD to find her" or else she (Lilly) would be "too, too sad to sleep." In a moment of utter exasperation, I threw back the blankets and said, "Fine! Hop out! Let's go look for her."
We searched everywhere! The kitchen, the bedrooms, the bathroom...no Polly. The closet, the drawers, the couches...no Polly. "For heaven's sake," I grumbled to myself, "She's a tiny plastic doll, which means she could be anywhere!" It was getting late--way past Lilly's bedtime--and we had looked in every corner, nook, and cranny for the doll, and to no avail. I was tired and frustrated. At that point, there were only two options left: put a bawling Lilly to bed, or pray.
I quickly grabbed Lilly's hands and sat her down on the floor of the living room. I explained to her that God is always there for us, and that He will help us if we ask Him. I told her we can even pray to Him for help when we've lost something special, something we love. "He'll help us find it," I said. We knelt together and offered a simple prayer to heaven. Afterward, Lilly jumped up and ran to the front door. She stood vigilantly in front of it and watched the doorknob.
"Lil? What are you doing?", I asked, gently.
And in beautiful, child-like innocence, she replied, "I'm waiting for God to come to our house, to help us look for Polly Pocket."
I have thought of that sweet incident many times since then, and most especially in the last month. Wouldn't it be great if God made house calls? In times of trial, in times of need, in times of heartache and sickness, in times of discouragement and despair, He'd literally knock on your door. You'd open it and weep and cheer with elation--pleasantly surprised to find God on your doorstep, ready to come to your aid. Just imagine it!
So when the I'm the sole survivor left standing on the battlefront...er, I mean home-front...after the "influenza bomb" has dropped, when my whole family is sick with a bug for the second time in three weeks, when I've been to the ER with Lilly for stitches and to the Pediatric dentist with Cam for a crown, when I've been overwhelmed and exhausted by all of it, God would walk in and say: "Why don't you lie down? Put your feet up. Relax. Have a cookie. I've got this."
Or what if He wasn't able to come down because He IS God and He's got a pretty hefty job to do... What if He sent someone else in His place instead? Like Moses? I imagine Moses coming into my house, looking like Charlton Heston, and "parting" my dirty laundry like he parted that Red Sea. And what if "parting" the dirty laundry entailed washing, drying, folding, and putting it all away in one great big WHHOOOOSSSSHH? Wouldn't that be something?
You know what I realized last week? He HAS done it; God HAS sent His angels to my rescue! No, He didn't make a house call, and no, He didn't send Moses to me. He sent dear friends, neighbors, and family members.
It was President Spencer W. Kimball who said, "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs." My needs have been met by emails, phone calls, voice mail messages, text messages, Haagen Dazs ice cream, Skittles, and hugs. My needs have been met by loved ones offering shoulders to cry on. There have been those willing to listen with a compassionate ear. My needs have been met by encouraging (and often humorous) words of comfort. My needs have been met by a visit from a lovely friend, who brought chicken enchiladas for dinner for my family. Another friend came bearing soup and a bag full of goodies. It is wonderful (and a bit funny) to me that friends have met my needs with cookies--lots and lots of cookies! (They know me so well!) Monster cookies. Girl Scout cookies. Oreo cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. I've decided cookies should be the universal symbol of love and support. I don't think anything else can say, "I'm here for you," better than a cookie.
And my needs have been met by my kind, angel mother, who swooped into town with caramel popcorn and a smile. (I swear that woman is hiding a cape beneath her clothes!) She didn't even hesitate to pick up the broom and start sweeping my kitchen floor. When I grew weary after another trip to the ER (to have Lilly's stitches taken out), she sent me to bed and played with Lilly all afternoon. I believe a mother always knows how to lighten a burden.
God does notice us. He helps us find Polly Pocket. He helps us through challenging times; no house call or appointment with Moses necessary! He notices when we are at the end of our rope. He sends our loved ones with nets to catch us.