Thursday, December 9, 2010

Because I have been given much

So, below this post you'll find a post I wrote some weeks ago that I never posted because I was too self conscious about it. You should read it first (if you want to read this at all-there will be no pictures and will be very boring so I suggest waiting for my next post that will contain lots of pictures and a lot less emotion and will be a lot happier). If you do continue reading though, read the deep thoughts post first-it ties in with this one and helps with the story.

So, I wrote that the day after Thanksgiving after Dan and I had stayed up all til 2am, on Thanksgiving, putting together his new store. For some reason the store does give me anxiety and I was grumbling all night and eventually went home sobbing about how we were going to starve to death and our lives were ending. (2 notes: I do get hormonally challenged when I'm on my period and go a little/a lot crazy 2nd: There were a great many other things that I'm not going into leading up to this moment of utter despair). Needless to say though, I needed a reality check.

The next morning I was cleaning up and doing the dishes and the poem I quoted came to my mind and I decided to go pull out my old 101 Famous Poems book from Carden. I read it was duly inspired. My new mission, to help some other people and not think about myself so much. Perfect, I used to be a ward missionary and still visit teach several less active sisters who usually need some extra help. What a great opportunity!

I knew one of the sister's was having an especially hard time, so I found some things I could do for her. Paid for a massage so she could have some money (big sacrifice on my part) asked her if she needed any other help. Yesterday, at church she told me that her car had broken down and she needed a ride home from church which I was happy to give her. On the way home she told me that her car was going to be over $300 to fix, that she didn't have any of that money. She wasn't quite sure how she was going to pay rent, or buy food, but more importantly she now has no way to drive to work or to any of her clients for massage (she's a message therapist). I wished with all my heart that I could help her pay to fix her car, but we're not exactly rolling in money right now either so I offered to help her do whatever I could. I drove her to work and offered her some dinner so she wouldn't have to go hungry.

On the drive home she told me this story though. She has a man living and sleeping on her couch right now. She told me that she found him sitting outside of a gas station and she felt like she should talk to him. She didn't have any money to give him but she asked him if she could give him a ride somewhere. He'd come to Seattle on a promise from a friend that he could get a job here because he couldn't find a job anywhere in Virginia where he is from. His "friend" had helped him pay for a few nights in a hotel, but then skipped town and left him because the job hadn't panned out. He left him with no food, no money, no place to stay, and no way to go home to Virginia. He didn't know a soul in Seattle. Amazingly, my friend, who has very little herself, said well you can sleep on my couch and share my food.

As she told me this story, my jaw slowly dropped further and further. By the end you could probably have knocked me over with a feather. Suddenly, my grandiose gestures of giving her a ride to work and offering her dinner seemed pretty pale in comparison. I think she saw my surprise and said, "Well, Heather, he needed a friend he had nobody! I wanted to show him that there was good in the world. Well not just "in the world" everybody knows that there's good SOMEWHERE in the world. I wanted to show him that there was good in HIS world. That God loves and cares about him."

I went home pretty humbled to say the least. I sat on my couch in awe just thinking: I have never EVER gone hungry cause I don't have food. I have never not had a place to sleep. I have never not had a friend or a family member to call if I needed help, or money, or was feeling alone. Not only that, I have a lot of nice things! I have a car, and really good food to eat. I have a home to go to, a bed to sleep in, and a family who calls and asks how I'm doing. I have A LOT to be grateful for... I guess there is nothing like a little perspective and a little gratitude to get rid of all feelings of self-pity.

As I was listening to President Eyring and Monson's talks during the Christmas devotional about the true meaning of Christmas and the gift's that we can give the Savior this Christmas Season. I decided I'm going to do something a little bigger this year than give fifty cents to the Salvation Army guy and take Christmas cookies to my neighbor. I don't know if I'm going to be able to invite someone off the street to sleep on my couch (I think it takes a very special person to do that, and my friend is definitely such a special wonderful person), but I'd like to show someone that there is good in THEIR world, not just "in the world." And you guys can hold me accountable for that. I'd at least like to help my friend and her friend this year. I don't know if I'll have to go sit down on the corner and ask for money haha, or write into one of the Christmas station that grants wishes, but I would at least like to help them get the car fixed. If anyone has any better ideas let me know. Merry Christmas!!!

1 comment:

  1. Heather- thank you for sharing that story. It's amazing to hear. I love that you brought up President Monson's talk cause as I was reading it, that's exactly what it reminded me of. It's refreshing and and awe-inspiring to know that stories like that happen to people like you and me, not just to the prophet, you know? It just brings it that much closer to home and makes the message of giving even that much more powerful. Thank you again!