For the first time I realized that there have been times in my life when I have been the stranger.
When I was hungry to know if going on a mission was really the right thing to do (I had my mission call and everything!), a well-respected man walked into my workplace, began a conversation with me, and left me with these words, "I wish my wife had served a mission for the sole purpose of the unique, self-tailored experiences she would have received." I knew it was the right thing for me to do.
When I was thirsty for spiritual water, a sweet sister in our ward who had eight children of her own, watched my five under five once a week so I could attend an Institute class.
When I felt naked and exposed to a pain I could hardly bear, a sister from the ward reached out and invited me to join in a neighborhood "playdate" group. While she didn't know how much I hated playdates, her friendship was healing balm to my deeply troubled soul.
I became sick with complications right after delivering my ninth child. While in emergency surgery, dear friends and precious family members prayed and exercised faith. I woke up in ICU surrounded by my concerned husband, my caring sister, and a cherished friend who had lost her husband a year prior and had yet to step into another hospital since his passing. I am still overcome with feelings of humble gratitude for the powerful love of wonderful people in my life.
When our family was made a prisoner to the housing crash in 2008, my visiting teaching companion became our landlord, blessing our family with experiences and deep friendships that set us free in so many ways.
Yes, I have been a stranger, and I was taken in.