My Wife Just Left Me – And it’s a Good Thing!
Earlier this afternoon, my wife left her wedding ring on her dresser, packed a travel bag, stopped by the bank and withdrew some money, and then hopped on a plane to Las Vegas and left me! And as she walked away I thought, “It’s a good thing!”
Now before you get too excited at that intro, let me explain!
It’s only for a few days, and she accidentally left her wedding ring at home because she took it off to rub some lotion on her hands as she was packing her bags. And the reason she hopped a plane to Las Vegas was to help our daughter in law with our two young grandchildren while our son is out of town on a business trip.
And if we are counting up the score of her leaving me, we might as well throw in all the times she has:
· Left me to go take a meal to someone who was ill in our neighborhood.
· Left me to go visit a lonely widow neighbor.
· Left me to go provide assistance to a friend who needed someone to listen.
· Left me to go teach and inspire some of the teenage girls in our local church congregation.
· And countless other times she has left me… All for completely good reasons!
So, yeah, she is pretty experienced at leaving me… and many times, I am blessed when she actually takes me along for the occasion.
What got me thinking about it this evening as I am sitting her alone in my home, is the concept of how important it is to think outside of our own personal needs, wants, desires and agendas… to actually consider the needs of others and what we can do to help them.
The concept of service to others boils down to the Old Golden Rule: “DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE DONE UNTO YOU.”
But meaningful service goes even beyond the actual acts performed if we want it to really make a difference. I mean, I am sure we have all done something to help someone else, but done so begrudgingly or dragging our heals inside our hearts. But we do it anyway because of what others may think or only because it is expected of us and we don’t want to have to deal with the backlash or guilt of not doing it.
But if you add on top of or as a motivating source behind that service, the power of compassion, genuine concern, and love for those you are helping, then a truly remarkable thing happens. The person benefitting from our actions feels the power behind it, and WE ALSO benefit by the change that happens within our own hearts and souls.
The prophet Moroni so wonderfully stated, “… except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.” (Moroni 7:6-7)
But when we look beyond our own selfish needs and desires and recognize those plentiful opportunities to help lift, inspire, assist and mend the broken hearts and lives of others because we truly look upon them with compassion and love in our heart, then the God-given power of Charity comes into play in our lives.
Now by using the word “Charity” I am not talking about giving a monetary donation to a charitable organization (although there is nothing wrong with that form of giving), but what I am talking about is Christ-like love, or as the scriptures define Charity – “The Pure Love of Christ”.
If you had to look at it like a math equation in its simplest form it would be:
SERVICE + LOVE = CHARITY
Or another way to define it would be “the action of love.”
And if we want to go straight to the source of all love and goodness, and find out what the Master has to say about this topic, we read in John 13:34-35
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Now by suggesting all of this, I am not saying you should just abandon your responsibilities in your own home or neglect your spouse or your own children. Your first priority should always be to your own spouse and family above all else. But lets be honest – with all the time we waste on trivial and meaningless things each day (come on admit it, we are all guilty of it), then at least a portion of that time could and should be spent in looking outside of our selfish interests in order to be of benefit to others around us. And what better lesson could you teach your children then the example of selfless charity to help them become better individuals?
Of course we are all imperfect individuals, and we aren’t expected to do everything for everybody all the time. So don’t go putting that kind of burden on yourself. But if you want to know how to feel better about yourself and have more joy in your life, then start by spending some time on your knees and asking the Lord what He would have you do to help those around you…. And then sit and listen… and pay attention to the whisperings that come to your mind about calling a friend, or asking someone for forgiveness, or going to visit someone you haven’t seen in a while.
And as you begin to become aware of those promptings, your eyes will also begin to be opened to the needs of others your cross paths with each and every day – like the lady having trouble reaching something on the shelf at the grocery store, or the discouraged classmate at school who is having a bad day and needs a smile and a friendly reminder that things are going to be alright, and the list goes on and on.
I know it seems like as just one person, “just little old me”, what kind of difference can I really make in the world with my meager efforts? The truth is ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!
Consider the profound truth offered by the wizard Gandalf in the fictional “Hobbit” story.
Indeed, it is the small acts of love and kindness of ordinary folks which holds the powers of darkness at bay!
And consider these prophetic words and promises found in Moroni, chapter 7:
“45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”
And if in stepping outside yourself and leaving behind the comforts of your own home and even your husband (as in my case tonight) is what you need to do to help someone in need, then blessings are bound to come from it.
And in my wife’s case, some of those priceless blessings have kissable chubby cheeks and smiles!