The Crescent Moon

On a cold morning a few months ago I walked from my car at the end of the parking lot to my office. I passed by the cancer clinic and the outpatient infusion clinic, and I thought about my neighbor Christie. I thought about the burden of her disease, and I imagined all of the times she has sat in that waiting room, and in those clinic rooms. I wondered how many times she had cried there in those rooms.

Then I looked up in the sky above the clinic and saw the moon, still shining in the early morning light before sunrise. It was a waning crescent, just days from the end of its cycle. I thought about Christie, approaching the end of her life on earth, and my heart was heavy.

Then I thought about the light of the moon, which is really just reflected light from the sun. Christie Perkins, in her own remarkable way, reflected the light of God in her life and words, guiding and inspiring thousands of other people.

Modern people don’t tend to care much about or follow the lunar cycle. We look at the crescent moon and don’t know whether it is waxing or waning. We may have thought Christie was waning, and certainly her days on earth were, but in reality her spirit was waxing. She was like the humble followers of Christ described in the Book of Mormon:

“Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God” (Helaman 3:35).

Yes, Christie’s light has gone out, but the light of God still shines. It is now our work to reflect his light for others to see. And just as a new moon is not the end but the beginning of a new cycle, Christie will rise again in the resurrection, never to be extinguished again.

May God bless her and her family.

Alan B. Sanderson, MD is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a practicing neurologist.

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