As we approach the birth of our Savior, I have thought a lot about his life and the love that He has for each of us. The more that I ponder these things, the more I want to grow up to be like Him. I want others to feel His love through me and the actions that I take everyday.
This week has seemed to bring many opportunities to serve others. Perhaps it is because I have been more focused on trying to do what the Savior would do. I am sure that I have missed several opportunities to help others by being too busy and absorbed in my own life. I think these opportunities have been all around me, but I have neglected to take advantage of being an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Perhaps I need to carry the spirit of Christmas—the spirit of the Lord with me all year long.
This week has ended with a couple of experiences that I share with you, not to bring attention to the acts themselves, but so that you can ponder what you would do in your own lives and the lessons that are there to be learned therein. I feel compelled to share these experiences so that we may learn together. Perhaps I just need to reinforce the lessons in my own life.
My husband has been away on business all of this past week. He was supposed to arrive home Friday night, but was delayed due to the weather. While he was diverted to another airport, he took an elderly couple under his wing whose cell phone battery had lost life. He offered his phone and when they could not reach their family to apprise them of the situation, he continued to call and left messages for the family so they could know what was going on. While it really may not seem like a big deal, it was to this family. When they finally were able to arrive at their original destination late Saturday morning, he received a card and a plate of cookies from the family, thanking him. It was addressed to their Guardian Angel. Inside it said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kindness and helpfulness toward our parents in this trip. You are indeed the spirit of Christmas.”
When he shared the card with me and the part about the spirit of Christmas, I knew I had the opening that I needed to discuss a matter with him. I told him that speaking of the spirit of Christmas, I had a situation that had come to my attention and I needed to discuss it with him and would defer the final decision to him as our Priesthood leader in the home. You can imagine how that statement got his attention.
My sister works at a local college and one of her students was about to be homeless for the next two weeks. Normally there would be no question—the student would stay with the family. However, there were a few things that made this situation unique. First of all, my sister had not told me about the situation, but she had talked to my mother who then told me about it. The boy’s parents would not allow him to come home, even for Christmas, and he couldn’t stay in the dorms over the holiday as he had no way to pay. The temperature outside in our area has dipped well below zero. It is just too cold to stay outside and survive.
The problem was that this boy was openly gay and had a drug problem. My parents are elderly and have several prescription drugs in their home, so their home was not an option. I have an impressionable twelve year old boy in my home, and although I wasn’t really worried that anything would happen, it was still something that needed to be considered. My son can be naïve at times and it is one thing to be aware that these things happen around you, and another to actually invite them into your home. But I still felt that we could handle the situation…and it was Christmas.
As I pondered this situation, I thought to myself that Jesus would invite the boy in. The Savior loves everyone, no matter what they might have done. The Christ-like thing to do would be to invite the boy to stay with us for the next two weeks, despite his difficulties and the influence that he might bring to our home. Perhaps we could make a difference by showing him that someone did care about him and let him feel of the love our Savior has for him. And what a great teaching moment it would be for our son about Christ-like love for others.
After I had made my case, I waited for my husband to respond. He responded that of course the boy could come and stay. We would deal with the problems and could always make sure that we were always present.
We both felt really good about the situation, and I called my sister to offer our home to the boy. She said that she was going to call me this morning to ask if he could come and stay with us, but that a solution was found right before she called me.
Although we didn’t need to have the boy actually stay with us, I feel that we were still blessed by the experience. The Lord has accepted our offering and gift. As I sit here pondering these experiences, I recall the counsel that it is usually through another person that the Lord fulfills our needs. I hope to be able to be of use to the Lord and that my hands can indeed serve Him, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year whenever He needs me. By serving Him, I can emulate His light and love to all of His children and that will bless the lives of many people, but most of all, my life.