What is the Cost?

I looked out the window and saw a very long car pull up to our house. No one got out immediately. I waited and wondered who it was. Slowly, the driver’s door opened and an old man struggled to climb out, bracing himself with a cane. I grabbed a jacket and rushed out the front door. It turned out to be the oldest couple in our neighborhood. With great effort our aged friend hobbled up the sidewalk, teetering on his cane while balancing an enormous vase of flowers. It was my birthday. Tears gathered in my eyes at this generous demonstration of caring. The lovely bouquet stood on my kitchen table for days as a reminder that the most precious gifts are those hardest to give. Mother Theresa said, “You must give what will cost you something.” If we do not give when we have little, we are not likely to give when we have much. Action verbs from a favorite LDS hymn identify specific ways to serve: “I gave him all; I ran and raised the sufferer up; I flew; I revived…and supplied…and honored him. I roused…brought back…found him. I bid him welcome.” I will never forget the great lesson taught by my aged friend stumbling up the sidewalk on that windy October day. “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).


One thought on “What is the Cost?

  1. Marian Shipley

    Lois, I loved this post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I have so much but what am I giving to others?
    Your post woke me up once more. I love that this couple in their older years has found a way to serve – to brighten someone’s day. It reminds me of the short video the church put out years ago – The Letter (I believe) where an aged man opens the phone book each day and writes a letter to someone – anyone – on the list telling them how wonderful they are even when he does not even know them. Your posts are a way of serving others. Today you served me;)


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