For those of you who don’t know, the women’s organization within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (yes, the Mormons) is called the Relief Society, and they’re called that for a reason. Members of the Relief Society have been serving others for almost two centuries now; some of that service has changed somewhat in nature, but some of it remains the same. Case in point–the Relief Society asked me about meals just before I had my baby, discovered that we’d need meals a lot more after my parents left than while they were staying with us, and arranged for us to receive four meals over the course of a week or so, starting with the day my parents drove home to Idaho. Three of those meals came this week, which was beyond wonderful with Baby Girl in the hospital, and let me tell you something: bringing over a casserole can sound like a cliche; it can even seem trite in the face of tragedy when the tragedy is not your own. When your not-yet-three-week-old is in the hospital, however, and you and your hubby are passing each other like ships in the night to spend time with both her and the kids at home, there is nothing cliche or trite about other woman feeding you and your family so that you have one less worry on your plate. This is being Christ-like at its best–showing up at someone else’s door, food in hand. These four women were different ages, in different stages of life, and from different places, but they all volunteered to feed my family in addition to their own for one night. (Technically, it was five–one woman didn’t sign up but brought me over a spontaneous lasagna. With home-made bread.) Being the recipient of such service–which is what the ‘Relief’ in Relief Society is all about–is humbling.
It’s also difficult to write about without sounding sappy, and since my sleep-deprived brain isn’t doing “difficult” very well, I’m just going to leave you with a quote instead.
“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom… In the Doctrine and Covenants we read about how important it is to ‘…succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.’ (D&C 81:5.) So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds!” (“Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec 1974, 2).”
That is as true today as it was in 1974. To the women who served me and my family in the last week and a half–thank you from the bottom of my heart. I felt my Savior’s love through you.