by Marsha Ward
Last night it started to snow again. By this morning there was an accumulation of a couple of inches here--nothing much for those used to driving in snow, but enough to make me ask myself if our church meetings would be canceled because of the unique circumstances of members of our congregation.
Our boundaries are long and thin, extending over twenty miles along a state highway. Our church building is on my end of the highway, so it's not usually a big trial for me to get to church in iffy weather. I could even walk there, if I really needed to.
The highway, however, winds over hill and dale, through forest and glen, over several two-lane sections interspersed with divided highway. For the next two years, there is a seven-mile section of reduced speed for major construction. There are several long grades, and places where the roadway ices up. In inclement weather, it may be closed until the plows come along.
I called my "home teacher," the man who, with his wife, has a special interest in my welfare (The LDS Church is famous for its home teaching and visiting teaching programs that aid members in looking out for one another). I inquired about the possibility of our meetings being canceled. He said he would check into it.
A few minutes later, another member, who lives in my area, called and offered me a ride to church. I gratefully accepted, as their vehicle has four-wheel drive. The members who live on the other end of the highway were told that if they didn't have four-wheel drive, they should attend the church service in Payson. We had a shortened church schedule--just the worship service--and returned home.
When the family dropped me off at home, the husband got out of the car and shoveled the snow off my deck before he let me get out of the car. He didn't have to do that. The snow would have melted in a couple of days. He didn't want me to slip, though. He went the extra mile to bless me. (He also asked me to speak in church next week!)
How many times do we go the extra mile in our relationships with other writers? How do we give help to those who are beginning their writing journey? When I was a beginner, many people in the writing community went out of their way to guide me through the pitfalls and snares of the world of writing. In gratitude for that assistance, I have dedicated many hours of time and much effort to aid other writers. Some of this is invisible, some is evident for all the world to see.
I know other writers who feel the same way I do that we have a duty to help others. You will see the evidence of that when you attend the 2010 ANWA Writing Conference on February 27. Eight wonderful writers are sharing their experience and knowledge. Your time and money will be well spent partaking of the joys of that Conference.
What do you, as a writer, do to help other writers?