Thursday, January 31, 2019

"interfering, for good, in human matters"

I love having missionaries we know out serving in different parts of the world.  I have little notes I was inspired by jotted down here and there to remind me of what struck me in reading about all those adventures.  (I can't read all of them, of course, but I try to read some...we are working on integrating "missionary Monday" into our morning devotional so that we can read more together as a family to "connect" with friends and family spread out near and far.)  There was this one letter I got a couple years ago (from Elder Gilbert) that I still think about.  I didn't save it because it was eloquent or necessarily spiritual, but I saved it because it sparked a realization in me that people, just by their presence, can make a difference. It's just a short little line:

"We just had two new sister missionaries come into the ward, and it got everyone hyped for missionary work!"

I loved to think about two new people coming into a ward (congregation) and making such an impact that it made everyone "hyped" to reach out to others.  Was it their enthusiasm?  Was it their kindness?  I don't know, but it reminds me once again that we too can make a difference just by being there.  And shining our own unique lights as best we can.

To add to that thought, do you think we can be "earthly angels" to those around us?  Christmas lends us to think and act upon many service ideas.  But maybe it's even more important to reach out and love and lift when there is no Christmas nudge.  Just because we can be that enthusiasm.  We can be perhaps that tiny kindness someone needs in a day.

I have a friend named Whitney Johnson (check her out HERE) who I only met once (at Time out For Women years ago), but who is pretty awesome.  She sends out weekly newsletters and does podcasts (I need to listen to more of those because they are pretty great).  But I keep thinking of a line at the end of one of her newsletters before Christmas.

Finally, I'd like to share with you a quote from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It's a passage in the book where Ebenezer Scrooge is seeing people he knew in life who have now passed on. "The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste...Every one of them wore chains like Marley's Ghost; some were linked together, none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power forever."

Each of us can seek to interfere, for good, in human matters.

We have that power.

What will we do?

Today.

Isn't that a powerful quote? It got me all choked up when I first read it, and choked up again now.

Perhaps as that magic of Christmas begins to fade away, we have to be ever-more-diligent in that listening and awareness as to what we can do for others all around us. 

If we make ourselves aware, we will be guided to where we need to "interfere, for good, in human matters."  And we, like those sister missionaries in that little quote up there from Elder Gilbert, can bring light in unique ways that no one else can quite the same.

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