“Special Lessons” was a talk given in May 2012 by Elder Rasband. You may recall this is the talk about his grandson Paxton who was born with a rare genetic disorder.I am not going to focus on that but the part I share with you greatly impacted me.
“If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if they need help—or would it be better to just jump in and save them from the deepening waters? The offer, while well meaning and often given, “Let me know if I can help” is really no help at all.”
This part of his talk jumped out at me when he said it. It often returns to haunt me when I am tempted to offer no help at all.
The lesson was taught to me years before this talk. My new relief society president came to visit me. My second child had just been born and my husband was not in the best place. (That year I would find out that pornography was in our marriage too.) But right now I was feeling completely overwhelmed with life and inadequate. My bathroom hadn’t been cleaned in weeks and it was a constant source of contention between me and my husband. In our conversation I had mentioned that but we just mainly chatted. She had brought me some very thoughtful gifts and was getting ready to leave and asked me the question if she could do anything for me. I told her I was fine. ( I wouldn’t learn to ask for help for awhile yet) and that I didn’t need anything. Then she said to me, “Well I guess I will wash your tub and then be on my way.”
I protested, The shame and guilt of not being able to meet my own needs was humiliating. But she just quietly kept scrubbing. When I realized she was determined to serve me I just let her clean and whispered a prayer of complete gratitude to my Heavenly Father who let an angel relief society president come and be His hands that day and do something I still couldn’t do for myself.
More than a clean tub, I received a lesson in having my eyes opened and my ears hear. No longer would I ask the question “Is there anything I can do for you?” But I would say, I am bringing a meal. And people will say often “No, no, no, we are fine.” and I will respond I didn’t ask if you were fine I just am letting you know not to cook on Friday because I will be bringing dinner.
Sister McNabb’s kindness, extended to me that day, has blessed the lives of so many others I have been able to serve. She changed me and let me see how much my Savior loves and is concerned for me. She let me see that often the Savior lifts our burdens through others.
Sometimes when I am tempted to ask, “Is there anything that I can do for you?” I hear Elder Rasbands words echoing in my head “The offer, while well meaning and often given, “Let me know if I can help” is really no help at all.”
I am grateful that because of Sister McNabb. I can realize what it feels like to have someone help without being asked.
Actually, as I was writing this talk, I remembered yesterday hearing someone’s voice that they were under the weather and that they needed help and I just hung up. So I quickly called her back and told her I was bringing dinner tonight. I gave her a few choices and she choose tuna melts… easy and delicious. I am grateful for an example of a sister almost seven years ago but she changed me and helped my ears and eyes to stay open and alert.
Who would benefit from your service?