When I was in London we all rode The Tube. I mean everyone. It’s a thing. Anyway, as you’re boarding this pre-recorded message would announce to “Mind the gap,” meaning the gap between the platform and the train door. It was somewhat annoying. But of course you paid attention because they continuously brought it to your attention.
I had this random thought today during church.
I noticed the youngest boy in a friend’s family serving the Sacrament. “He’s twelve already?” was my thought. I also noticed one of the older boys (by a year, not really “older”) semi-directing him. I’m not sure that he needed it. There was a nearly imperceptible gesture with a similarly nonchalant nod. I thought to myself, “He has brothers, he doesn’t need help.” But his brother is the one that passed last year, suddenly. He has other brothers, it’s not like it was just the two of them, but then… sometimes it feels that way when you lose a sibling. I am not sure people realize that. There’s a gap.
When a sibling dies you feel it, the family dynamic changes. Maybe you are suddenly not the middle child anymore. Or maybe now you are the baby. In my case I was suddenly the oldest actively LDS child and the only one to have served a full-time mission. We went from a family with six kids to a family with four. It still feels off.
There is another gap that came to my mind when thinking about this; the gap between us and God. We will never be perfect. Not on our own anyway. That’s kind of the point. We come to earth, we make mistakes, we love each other and serve one another the best we can, and then we die. Oh, and a little FYI, you cannot “earn” your way into heaven. The only way is to accept Jesus Christ as your interceptor. He is our go-between, our negotiator. No matter how “good” you are the truth is that without the Grace of God to save you (aka Jesus) you cannot bridge that gap.
There was another thing that came to mind when I thought of the Tube in London. Sometimes we were delayed because of a “person under the train.” They actually announce things like that. The first time I heard it I kind of freaked out. I only heard it a couple of times in the six months I was there but it affected me deeply. I didn’t know if it was a purposeful thing or an accident but I remember thinking how awful it was. How sad for the family.
We all have gaps. Someone we’ve lost either through death, divorce, moving, etc. We need to be kinder to ourselves and each other and mind the gaps.