Finding Out I’m the Sister-of-Jared (or Tight Like a Dish), 2019

Oil on panel

18” x 36”

Here what it's about.

One day I was lamenting to my therapist about how I didn’t think I could take anymore, go any further; how I was feeling abandoned and broken beyond fixing.

Right in the middle of processing these feelings I had a very forceful memory come to mind of a talk I had listened to months earlier. The talk was When My Prayers Feel Unanswered, which people commonly refer to as the “fourth watch God talk” given by Michael Wilcox in 2005 at a BYU Education Week.

Along with the clear memory of this talk, came the image to my mind of myself standing on a beach in a storm, the wind whipping my hair and dress around as I searched for pebbles, my eyes looking up to heaven, then at the crashing waves, then down at the beach over and over again and a voice clearly saying “You are tight like a dish”, which would normally make me laugh because I find the phrase amusing but at this particular time made me start sobbing like a baby.

In this talk Wilcox speaks on how we need to remember that God is a fourth watch God. This means he comes in the darkest, most exhausting part of the night. BUT if he doesn’t seem to be coming and we feel that we have passed the fourth watch there is something we need to know about ourselves. We need to know that we are probably tight like a dish.
If you’ve ever read the story of the Brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon you’ll know what this references. They’re supposed to cross this ocean. It’s going to be bad. They can’t have windows, they can’t have fire. So he gets God to touch some stones so they’ll glow and provide light for the journey.

This journey is going to be so awful, how will they be okay, even with the miraculous light source?
They’ll be okay because the boats they will be in are built so strong, so well that they are described as being “tight like a dish”. This is, in fact, stated no less than six times.

I’ve never felt like I was tight like dish. Sometimes I’ve felt strong, but I’ve always felt broken. Definitely not like a vessel that could carry people across a storm ridden sea beyond the fourth watch and into the darkness. But God was telling me I was. I cried because I didn’t want to believe it because it means things are going to keep being hard and because I had to believe it because of the way it rang the bell of truth in my soul in such a way that I had no choice but to believe Him.
So now, during those times when my feelings of brokenness come welling up, I remember that if I feel like it’s past the fourth watch, that’s because it is, but God trusts me to keep going, because I’m tight like a dish.
Heaven help me. Tight like a dish.