Monday, October 3, 2011

Call to Serve

My brother called me a couple of weeks ago during Sunday school class. It embarrassed me that I had left my phone on and interrupted the class. I told him he shouldn’t call me during church, but being a member of the Bishopric in his ward he knows that sometimes you have to do things when they need to be done, not when it’s convenient. My ninety-year-old aunt, who lives in a neighboring town in Utah had fallen and broken her hip. She had been taking out the trash in the back yard when she slipped and fell. Crawling to the fence she called out for help. Fortunately someone walking down to the Stadium for a football game heard her and was able to call an ambulance.

How many times have we had the opportunity to answer a call for help? Are we listening for those chances?

One of my favorite hymns when I was a youth was “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief”.( James Montgomery, 1771-1854) I think it was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s Favorite hymn too. I remember asking one of the tenors in the choir if he would sing it at my funeral. That’s how I wanted to live my life. I planned on making that my goal; to a live life like the hymn stated. However I outlived my tenor friend. His daughter, a nurse, was tending him when I called her to ask what to do when my mother died, and found out he had just died that morning too.

When I moved to Virginia, I asked her jokingly to adopt my father, since I was leaving him alone. She agreed and would go over to his house once a week to check on him and have lunch. They developed a warm friendship. There were many opportunities for her to use her nursing skills to help him. And as it turned out, instead of her dad singing at my funeral, she played her violin at my dad’s.

A poor, wayfaring man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow’r to ask his name
Where to he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye that won my love,
I knew not why.

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou disdst them unto me.”

In Matthew 25 we read
…, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

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