It’s been out for awhile now, but I waited to watch this until last night because it felt like a perfect way to more thoughtfully jump into what is already a very busy December. I kind of lose it about 40 some seconds in when it cuts from Jesus giving a hand up to the sick man on the steps of the pool of Bethesda to the boy giving a hand up to a younger boy on the dusty soccer field and I remember that we can love and serve our brothers and sisters as Jesus did.
Today is the kickoff of to light the world 25 ways in 25 days. I can’t guarantee I will have 25 things to say about it, but if I do, I will say it here.
Today’s theme, Jesus Lifted Others’ Burdens and So Can You was timely in a number of ways.
I’ve been Martha’ing about trying to help coordinate food for a family luncheon after the funeral of a longtime neighbor who, as a builder, literally helped build my neighborhood. He is a well loved neighbor, father, husband, and friend to many. I didn’t know him particularly well, but I’m told he built our house long before we moved here (we are the third family in this house since we moved into the neighborhood about 25 years ago, and we’ve been here about 16 of those years).
One thing I will remember him for is his soft-spoken ways and the sweet tenderness with which he always spoke about his wife and the gentle attentive way he cared for her. And the times I felt the spirit whisper the truth of his testimony.
In any case, I’m responsible for organizing the luncheon for his family (and sometime, if I haven’t already, I will write about how I learned this is a sacred and special time when the healing gently, quietly begins). Due to my day job, I have a person on my committee who is generally the point person for the actual serving of the luncheon, but she suffered a fall may have broken her ankle. Bless her though if she didn’t call and call to line up help and do all she could. We had about three days to put this together–coordinating her calls and my Facebook signup on the ward Relief Society page and since I bear the responsibility mantle more heavily than I need to sometimes, I’ve been worrying over it like a Martha and missing the part that Mary would see.
Mourning with those who mourn.
I’m still mourning with the Stewart family. Mourning for families who’ve lost babies this past week. Mourning for a friend who sweet boy just finished leukemia treatment only to find more cancer just as his hair was growing back. Mourning for an unimaginable number of victims of war who no longer have any access to medical care. Mourning for those suddenly and tragically lost. Mourning for those who are lonely, hurt, bullied, and afraid. And this is just a small, small part.
But when I bury myself in busy I forget to feel and you can’t truly mourn without being willing to feel.
So today I took time to remember why we are signing people up for funeral potatoes and Jell-O salads and cakes and rolls.
Why someone who fell helping at the last funeral (just two and a half weeks ago) and whose knee still hurts is stepping up to take the place as point person.
I went to the viewing and looked into the eyes of the people who are saying goodbye to their husband, father, father-in-law and grandpa and I shook their hands and hugged them.
I took a moment to appreciate the generous sisters who, when they saw we were short signed up for two cakes and two salads.
And, remembering that we can rejoice with others as well as mourn, I said a silent prayer of thanks when I learned that sweet Wyatt’s sister is a 100% match for his bone marrow transplant and his mother’s hospital and insurance worries seemed to be resolving themselves. And felt again the joy of learning one of my best friend’s biopsies came back benign.
And I gave thanks for miracles. For I know from whence they come.