My husband and I are part of a group that has been called to work at the local hospital in Pastoral Care. Every Sunday we help provide a short Sacrament Meeting for staff and patients and then visit the rooms. The Priesthood takes the Sacrament to all those who can't come to Sacrament Meeting, and the sisters visit the women as members of the Relief Society.
It is a wonderful experience to glance briefly into the lives of these people in crises. There are stories of caring and kindness associated with each visit we make.
In one room, we found an elderly widow who had fallen and broken her hip. When she fell, her little dog ran next door to get the widow's best friend and brought her hurrying to help. The friend got her to the emergency room and sat day after day by the hospital bed to cheer and bless the life of the elderly widow. Very few will ever know about that gift of love.
In another bed, a young African girl, here on a Study Abroad program, had sickle cell anemia. Her family back home prayed for her, but they were too poor to come to her. A college professor helped the girl arrange her classes and found her a place to live while she was ill. The girl and her family were so grateful. Very few will ever know of the professor's actions.
In an isolated part of the hospital, we found a woman whose immune system had been compromised. She was in danger of contracting an infection. Her husband of fifty years sat by her bed day and night. Only friends and family know of his goodness.
The service rendered was not given for the praise of men, nor to gain power. It was given out of the pure love of Christ.
Elder Richard G. Scott has said, "When we serve [God's] children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God--power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, and our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord."(May Ensign, 30)
What a beautiful promise for all of us who serve. I always want to be better than I am. I would love to have my talents and abilities expanded.
We all serve daily, and we need not look for noticeable moments of service, like helping with a funeral luncheon, organizing a youth temple trip, or setting up a ward activity. Observe the small instances in your life--the many hours of caring you give to your husband, children, extended family, and friends.
Every time you pray with a child, tie his shoes, or wash his grubby hands, you are giving comfort.
Now I know that fixing macaroni and cheese doesn't seem like a gift of charity. It's one of those anonymous favors that no one ever thinks about.
The many hours of unremarkable service we give make us who we are--help us become more than we can be on our own.
Notice the unnoticed this week. You'll find you are already better than your best.