Tuned In

by Sherilyn Farnes

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Maybe she wasn’t hitting the right notes, but her sweet spirit struck just the right chord.

The weather was beautiful, and we were nearing the end of another marvelous week at girls’ camp. As youth camp leaders we gathered the rest of the young women and began the transition from the light-hearted fun of the afternoon to the more reverent atmosphere we desired for that evening’s program. One of the leaders suggested we sing some hymns.

We clustered together and started singing. As we sang, I noticed someone was a little out of tune. I thought someone was being silly, so I glanced sideways at those near me. But when I listened more closely, I realized who it was.

One of the youth camp leaders with us that year had Down syndrome. She had a tremendous spirit and loved each of us without reserve. And we loved her. She sang with all her heart, often being touched by many of the words that most of us mouthed without really thinking about them.

I reflected on how many times Alisa had been the one to go up to one of the girls who needed a hug. I remembered how dedicated she was to the gospel. I recalled her sweet testimony at the many youth conferences we had been to. And then I realized how many times Alisa felt the Spirit when the rest of us were too busy, too silly, or too tired.

I suddenly understood that Alisa was in tune where it really mattered. She was in tune with the Spirit. As long as she stayed on the path she was on and followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit, someday she would likely raise her voice in perfect harmony with a heavenly choir to sing praises to our Lord. For now, though, the most important thing was to be in tune spiritually.

Illustrated by Scott Greer