Monday, December 7, 2020

Maybe Christ-like love can be EZ...

A Facebook 'friend' regularly challenges his followers to post for all to see what we consider to have been the best part of the Sabbath for us. When I posted for Sunday, December 6, 2020, I found it not EZ to narrow the field down to one. Follows is my response to his challenge:

Oh, Brad. There was so much: First, I thought the testimonies from Sacrament Meeting and being able to attend that Sacrament Meeting in person (masked and distanced but there) and having our young grandson with us. Then, I thought, no his insistence on donating his hard-earned $5 so others could be helped was the best.

Then we watched the afternoon Music and The Spoken Word. That was so good. Later we enjoyed Lauren Deigle's BYU TV special, Christmas Under the Stars. Marvelous! That was followed by the Christmas Devotional, especially Elder Holland's poem (did he write that?) Touching. So much! How can I choose the one best item?

After the devotional, we enjoyed our ward's 'drive-through' Christmas social with wonderful Christmas music and spirit, amazing hot chocolate and caramel corn (sorry, this post would be incomplete without this food reference).

Then we got home and read the words of Gary E. Stevenson in the booklet "Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room," given us by the ward at the social. Wow! It's all the best.

But, then, after a late evening walk with the dog, marveling with my EC at the beauty of the Christmas decorations and noticing that the unseasonably cool weather here in SE Mesa makes it feel more like Christmas, I decided to check my social media before bed. There I found, in a post on our neighborhood Facebook page and related comments, what I will have to call the best thing of the day for me--and sentimentality, nostalgia, and Christ-like love all play a part.

A young couple in the neighborhood had a treasured 'Baby's First Christmas' ornament that had been given them at the birth of their first child, a daughter, in 2013. Unfortunately, the young child was not well and despite the best efforts of the parents and medical science, 2013 was her first and only earthly Christmas. This couple had faithfully kept that ornament as a memorial to their lost daughter, enjoying its beauty and her memory each Christmas. This year, as they carefully removed it from it's protective packing, the delicate ornament shattered. They were shattered at the loss. A neighbor knew of their distress and began to look for a duplicate of the ornament to give them. To his dismay, he found they were no longer sold by Hallmark and were very hard to find. Because they are rare (and sentimental) they have become valuable. What probably sold for less than $10 in 2013 seemed now to be available only as a single item on eBay with a current bid of nearly $300 and four days left in the auction. As sort of a last resort, our neighbor posted the story to our local Facebook page.

There was much outpouring of empathy, sympathy, and love for the bereaved couple--offers of donations of money to buy the item from eBay included. Better, soon a neighbor lady posted, "We received several of these as gifts years ago when our daughter was born. We have one, identical and unused. It is yours if you want it." The first neighbor accepted her generous offer, and the bereaved couple will receive a token of love in remembrance of their lost daughter. No money is changing hands. No power, except that of love, has been exercised. The acts described are not Earth-shaking and required no horrible sacrifice but demonstrate simple, kind, acts of love, service, and generosity.  This became the best part of my Sunday and I thank God for my neighbors, His children, all.

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