Tuesday, May 20, 2008

i too must give

She came in late. She chose our row and scooted uncomfortably close to my husband as she made room for two, three, four little boys. We kept moving over until I was sitting quite close to dear Sister Rust on my left. She made no apology, no excuses, no thank yous as she obliviously made room on the end of the row for her brood.

The boys were shaggy haired and sloppily dressed. They were in sore need of baths. They were squabbling and restless.

I was annoyed. I was judgmental. I was bothered that this woman didn't at least acknowledge our presence as she practically sat in my husband's lap and disrupted the meeting with her clamoring boys. Charity was not on my mind.

But my husband saw an opportunity to help. He carefully ripped the back of the program into small squares and had each of those boys sit by him as he drew them pictures. Jared has a talent for drawing fun little animal cartoons that kids just love. These boys were no exception. He was kind and attentive, and they responded to that. So did their grandmother. She thanked Jared over and over.

I was humbled by my husband's good example.

And then we sang the closing song: Because I Have Been Given Much. It is one of my all-time favorite hymns. Many times I have been touched by the simple text of this song, but it had new meaning after watching my sweet husband share his gifts and love to these little boys.

Because I have been given much, I too must give;
Because of thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live;
I shall divide my gifts from thee
With every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care,
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
My roof’s safe shelter overhead,
That he too may be comforted.

Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord,
I’ll share thy love again, according to thy word.
I shall give love to those in need;
I’ll show that love by word and deed:
Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

-- Grace Nowell Crowell

It was such a simple thing Jared did; he drew a few pictures. But it was so much more than I was willing to give. While I was content to be put out and annoyed, he saw someone in need and shared. I hope I can remember the lesson he taught me, and that the next time I see someone in need, I too will give.


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  2. That's such a sweet story. I'm afraid I too would have been annoyed-very annoyed. That was so nice of Jared!!

  3. wow ... i wanna be like him too! i love that hymn as well and i get teary-eyed when we sing it ... and i did as i hummed it to myself reading it here ... thanks for the uplift/reminder! give jared a hug from me - he totally deserves one!

  4. I watched you guys all through the meeting...it was really sweet. We had 1 of her boys in cub scouts for a bit and you should know that they're her grandsons and their mom basically abandoned them. It's quite sad...so it's lovely to see anyone pay the least kindness to them.

    I always look at them and think how sad it is that poverty is so obvious. Especially when it sits next to other children who are more polished and stylishly dressed. It breaks my heart a little bit. After all, it's not their fault. They're rowdy and ill behaved but they are what the adults in their lives have made them, and that is the truly sad thing.

    Big hugs to you and Jared for being so kind...whether you think you were or not, sometimes it's enough that we don't act what we think. We've all been there...that's human. The point is that we pick ourselves up and try to do better and that's just lovely. Well done, friend.

  5. Melissa, Thanks for the insight. I assumed as much about them and really I don't blame these little boys. They have no control over their environment. And I suppose their grandmother is doing her best. It's a sad situation. I'm glad they are coming to church where there are other examples.

  6. I think we all have moments like this in sacrament meetings or even at Stake Conference. It is always easy to judge than to immediately love someone. I know the Lord is aware of us in every aspect and allows us to quickly repent and remember to be like our Savior more each day.