Brian Mitchell has been found guilty of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in 2002. What a looooong ordeal to get to this point!
I still remember where I was when she was declared found after being missing for 9 months. I was gardening outside of my apartment when a UPS truck pulled into the parking lot of the complex. The UPS man yelled at me, "They found her!"
"What?" I had no clue what he was talking about.
"They found Elizabeth Smart!"
"What??" I may have asked for clarification on whether "found" meant her body.
"She's alive!" he yelled.
That's when I noticed the radio in the brown truck blasting the breaking news.
"Wow," I uttered, paused in place. "Wow..."
I was overcome with emotions and awe at the miracle. Alive. All this time.
And man, is she ever. I am sure she has difficult days, but boy, she still has life! She keeps great composure, communicates clearly and with conviction, and has taken on to do the challenging work of serving a year-and-a-half mission for the LDS Church. I am constantly amazed by the glorious persons we can emerge as from even the filthiest of ashes and am ever grateful when I learn from others' examples.
I have never met the girl (now woman), and I never participated in her search, but Elizabeth Smart's disappearance and discovery has always been another testimony to me that we humans are made from one energy, a part from our Creator. This is the reason we unite to celebrate arrivals and departures of life at births and funerals. We feel it a part to say "hello" or "see you later" to parts of our life energy. In between these landmark events, we tend to forget of our eternal ties to each other, and I believe that some of the experiences of our lives (both the greatest and the most painful) serve as reminders of the infinite nature of our connection to each other and to our God.
One day, we will more clearly recognize the eternal relationships to each other; until then, we are simply commanded to "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15).