Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Charity that is not in a casserole


This is my favorite story about charity.  It's from one of my faves, Sister Sheri Dew.  I have been thinking about it because of an experience I had last week.  A painful one.   It is a great reminder of what true charity looks like. 

AT AGE THIRTY TWO, I WAS CALLED TO SERVE IN THE STAKE RELIEF SOCIETY PRESIDENCY, AND THE THREE OF US BONDED QUICKLY AS THE DEAREST OF FRIENDS. BECAUSE OF MY WORK SCHEDULE AND THE LARGE FAMILIES OF THE
PRESIDENT AND OTHER COUNSELOR, WE HELD PRESIDENCY MEETINGS ON
TUESDAYS AT THE UNEARTHLY HOUR OF 5:30 AM.
ONE MORNING, THE PRESIDENT RAISED AN ISSUE THAT FOR SOME REASON  SET ME OFF.  
I CLIMBED ON MY RAMEUMPTOM, DELIVERED A TIRADE, AND LEFT IN  A HUFF
BUT AS I DROVE AWAY AND HEADED TOWARD WORK, MY HEART SANK.
 I COULDN'T
BELIEVE I'D RESPONDED TO MY FRIENDS THAT WAY, AND I WAS DESPERATE TO APOLOGIZE. 

BUT I FELT AS IF I NEEDED TO DO IT IN PERSON, WHICH I DETERMINED TO DO THAT VERY NIGHT.  FINALLY EVENING CAME. I STOPPED AT HOME BRIEFLY TO PICK UP
SOMETHING,  ONLY TO HAVE THE DOORBELL RING.  

THERE STOOD MY TWO FRIENDS.  CASSEROLES IN HAND. 
THE MOTHERS OF FIFTEEN CHILDREN BETWEEN THEM HAD BROUGHT ME,
THE MOTHER OF NONE, DINNER.
"ILL NEVER FORGET WHAT THEY SAID: THIS MORNING WASN'T LIKE YOU. YOU MUST BE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE. WE THOUGHT DINNER MIGHT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER." 
 TEARS FLOWED AS I APOLOGIZED, AND OUR FRIENDSHIP GREW INSTANTLY STRONGER.
IMAGINE WHAT THEY COULD HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL DAY ?
THAT LITTLE BRATSHE'S NOT EVEN MARRIED.  WHAT DOES SHE KNOW, SHE'S LUCKY TO EVEN BE IN THIS PRESIDENCY."  THEY COULD HAVE WHIPPED THEMSELVES INTO A LATHER AND PUNISHED ME FOR DAYS.
-BUT THEY DIDNT.
THEY DIDN'T GOSSIP.
THEY DIDNT JUDGE.
THEY DID GIVE ME THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. 
THAT DAY I SAW WHAT CHARITY LOOKS LIKE.
CHARITY WAS NOT, BY THE WAY, THE CASSEROLES. IT WAS MY FRIENDS GENTLE
HANDLING OF MY MISTAKE,  AND THEIR WILLINGNESS TO ASSUME THE BEST AND
STEP FORWARD TO SOOTHE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS.”

1 "my two cents...":

Amanda said...

Very good one;) i have not heard that one before. Love all the blogging ur doing.