Last night I was feeling very foolish and frustrated with my weaknesses. My wise mother gave me some good advice. "You know how James [my little brother] likes to make you little presents out of pipe cleaners?" she asked me. "To others they don't mean much, but they are precious to you because he has put his whole heart and the best of his ability into them.
"Sometimes all we can do is make a pipe cleaner creation. It is small and misshapen, not something that the world values. But to Heavenly Father it is precious, and it is enough."
He knows that in time my pipe cleaner creations will become great works of art. I just have to be patient with my pipe cleaner projects as well.
Last night I also listened to one of my favorite old songs, "Sure on this Shining Night" by Morten Lauridsen with lyrics by James Agee. I hadn't heard it for a while and was struck once again by the beauty of the music and the lyrics.
Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand'ring far
Of shadows on the stars.
Jesus Christ is my Savior. He "kindly watches" for me. He softens my heart until is "all whole" and "all is healed." He is so patient with me and my meager pipe cleaner creations. His gentleness and forgiveness make me continually "weep for wonder."
And so, on a shining January night, I was sure once more. Sure of the transforming power of the Atonement. Sure of my ability to create beautiful things in the Lord's time and with His help. And sure of His personal love for me.
May we all be "sure on this shining night" of those beautiful truths.