Serving the Hungry
“You have a lasagna. Go back and see if they need food,” the voice whispered in my head.
I had just gotten into my truck, exhausted. I didn’t want to go back. I sat there for a minute with the key in the ignition. Sometimes my mind’s too busy to hear the still, small voice, but I knew that I’d just heard Him talk about lasagna.
I jumped out of the truck and back towards their open door. Their moving experience drained everyone. The mom sat on the driveway smoking a cigarette. When she saw me coming back around the sidewalk, she apologized for smoking, saying she was just so tired.
I didn’t care about the cigarette and asked if they had food. I mentioned the frozen lasagna. Voices, young and old, from the doorway confirmed that they didn’t have any food and were hungry.
At home, I grabbed the lasagna and then rummaged through my fairly bare pantry—I dislike grocery shopping—grabbing anything I thought could be at all helpful to them while they moved. “Plastic plates, forks, knives, and napkins.” I knew that the Holy Ghost guided my hands. I threw the food and my dog into the truck for the ride back to their home.
The kids and grandma took the bag, eagerly surveying the goods. The mom, still sitting on the driveway, cried.
I didn’t really want to serve, but I learned that the Lord could use my small sacrifice to satisfy a hunger I didn’t see.
Serving the Fearful
It’s hard for me to babysit kids now. Because we haven’t had children, sometimes babysitting other people’s kids sends me into a tailspin. My husband and I have decided that’s not something we need to do anymore.
But, there was a time when I didn’t mind so much and I was asked to watch people’s kids a lot. Some requests were emergency situations at inconvenient times.
One emergency came from a very dear friend. She’d had trouble with a stalking ex-husband and feared for her children while she worked one day. He’d discovered where they lived. She asked if I could get her kids and bring them to her at work.
I picked the kids up and began the 20 minute drive to her. Immediately, I sensed, and then saw, someone tailing me. I recognized the ex-husband in the truck a few cars behind me.
I’d met him. He knew me as the lady from church. He’d always been cordial to me, but I’d seen results of his meth induced violence and felt very wary of him. He’d threatened to hurt the kids to hurt their mom.
My knuckles tightened on the steering wheel. I seriously felt afraid for the kids, my friend, and myself. Suddenly, I felt the Holy Ghost direct me to stop. I pulled into a parking lot and stopped behind some parked cars, noting escape routes. He followed me and parked behind my truck. He got out and came to my window.
My voice sounded surprisingly chipper as I greeted him. I said I saw him following me and wanted him to know I had the children safe and sound with me. He leaned into the window, said hi to the kids, made some small talk, including a Bible verse that he quoted.
As he leaned out of the window, I wished him a good day, said goodbye and drove off. He drove a different direction out of the parking lot. Still, instead of dropping off the kids to just wait for their mom, I kept them with me until my friend’s shift ended and she could take them to another location.
I never would have stopped without Divine Intervention. Following the Holy Spirit diffused the situation.
It was an inconvenient time and I didn’t want to serve, but I learned that by following the Holy Ghost, God protects His children in unexpected ways.
Serving the Dead
“Wait, what?” Had the Bishop really just asked me to dress a lady for her funeral?
I knew that when my grandmothers died, my mom and her sister and my dad’s sisters dressed their mothers prior to the funerals. They’d all told me it was a very special experience. But I had no personal experience doing this.
I had never imagined I would be asked to help a stranger in such an intimate way. My Bishop said the woman wanted an LDS burial even though she hadn’t been to church in a long time. Her Hispanic family said they would rather have an LDS woman prepare their mother according to her wishes.
I worried about inadvertently causing cultural offense. And I worried about inadvertently causing religious offense. My parents offered advice. I read everything I could in the Church’s Handbook of Instructions. When I arrived at the funeral home, the mortician took me to the back. I’d never been in the back of a funeral home before.
The woman looked so peaceful lying there. I wondered about her life and her family. Was she happy? Was she satisfied with her life? What was she experiencing now?
I prayed for guidance as I began. I felt a Divine practicality infuse my hands and pressed forward with my duty. Time suspended. My qualms and queasiness drifted away. I powerfully felt that the Lord gave me a sacred and divine task—to prepare His daughter for her final resting place.
Love guided my thoughts and hands. I felt angels around me. I felt holiness. I felt her life had continued.
I didn’t really want to serve, but a woman I had never met brought me closer to Heaven than I had ever been before.
Serving the Meek
“You teach computers, don’t you?”
I was a software trainer and traveled to various city halls across the country Monday-Friday. It felt like I got home with just enough time to say hi to Anthony, do laundry, and pack my bags again. I generally enjoyed my job, but I jealously guarded time at home.
“Can you teach me how to do the computer?”
I hate to admit that I just really, really, really didn’t want to do it. But, deep inside of me swelled this memory of a time where this humble man dramatically served my family. I knew I could never repay his act of kindness completely, but maybe this service could show my gratitude in a small way. I really loved him and his family.
Still kind of grudgingly, I showed up at the appointed time. He ushered me into his office. He told me the Holy Ghost suggested my name because of a special experience shared in the temple. He explained the nature of his work and how driven he was—his soul burned to record his research.
We talked about what he needed and envisioned. We set up Word and Excel documents so he could get started.
His research fascinated me. Over the subsequent months, while I showed him how to copy and paste, he opened my mind to ideas and concepts I never knew existed.
I really didn’t want to serve, but in return for my miniscule, insignificant gift, my whole universe expanded.
Ultimately Serving Myself
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how grudgingly I’ve accepted opportunities to serve over the years. Sometimes I head out of the door because of a calling. Sometimes I head out of the door because of some other sense of duty or a need to repay a favor. Sometimes I head out of the door because I’ve been asking God for some miracle or answer to prayer in my own life and so hope He’ll trade my efforts for what I want.
And it’s true. The Lord always blesses me for serving far above anything I deserve or have “earned.” He blesses every small effort abundantly. And regardless of what gets me out of the door, when I head back through the door, my soul is miraculously filled with love, happiness, and peace.
Previously posted by Delisa on LDSBlogs.com.