On the Other Side of the Wall

As true disciples of the Savior, we are the “light of the world” and “saviours… on mount Zion”, blessed with the responsibility to administer relief to the suffering.

After making the decision to exercise a little more often, one morning I asked my roommate Scott if he would take me to the gym. He graciously offered to be my personal trainer and to help me “get big”.

We arrived at 6:30 am, and the gym was already full. The students there looked pretty tough as they lifted their enormous weights, and every treadmill lined against the wall was occupied by runners steaming ahead at full speed.

Scott led me to a machine and helped me start off with a few small weights. He worked alongside me and did as many reps as I did, and even encouraged me to keep on pushing when I felt that I was completely out of strength.

When I finished my last rep of the morning, I was completely out of strength. We left the gym, and as we walked out into the hallway, I suddenly began to feel lightheaded and nauseous. My vision blurred almost completely. In desperation, I scanned the hallway with what little sight I had left and finally made out a dark object at the very end. I rushed towards it and reached out with my hands to identify it. To my great relief, it was a chair.

I sat down and tried to breathe. As I leaned my head into my hands, praying for relief, I heard a voice in the distance—It was the voice of a teacher! A few feet down from where I had sat down in the hallway was a classroom, and at 7:30 am, students had gathered for their early-morning fitness class. Although my vision was gone, the teacher’s words reached my ears clearly:

“You should be able to identify the signs of overexertion. When that curtain overtakes you or you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, you’ll know that you’ve pushed yourself too hard and you need to stop.”

In my moment of pain, I burst out in laughter at the irony. Little did the class know that on the other side of the wall was someone suffering those exact symptoms!

Scott found me a water fountain, and somehow I made my way to it for a drink. Then, after a few minutes of rest, I felt well enough to walk back through the snow to the car, and we made our way back home.

Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
(Hymns, 270)

My friends, all around us are brothers and sisters who are suffering silently. Perhaps they are our best friends, our siblings, or our role models. Many of these people’s trials will be invisible, even if we think we are aware of everything that is happening in their lives. If we do not have “eyes to see”, we may completely overlook the needs that are right on the other side of the wall from us.

But the Savior sets a perfect example of One who seeks the suffering soul and comforts the weary. His is the call, “Take my yoke upon you… and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.
(Hymns, 335)

Let us ever seek the “fainting, struggling seaman” whose eyes “eyes are watching, longing, for the lights along the shore.” Indeed, as true disciples of the Savior, we are the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) and “saviours… on mount Zion” (Obadiah 1:21), blessed with the responsibility to administer relief to the suffering and “gladden the heart that’s repining, [giving] courage and hope from above” (Hymns 232).

May our lights ever be burning, fueled by the love of the Savior and by our desire to rescue our brothers and sisters in need.

Cristian Torres

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