Thursday, January 20, 2005

It’s Not Always Better to Give Than to Receive

Is it OK if I brag? It has a point…

Well, two points, actually. Let me start by just sharing an email I received as a part of an email group. I’m posting it here with permission from the author.

“Dear Friends,

”Once, I had a very wise person tell me something. I am going to pass it on to you.

”I kept saying, 'No, I really don't need any help'. I was feeling so dumb for even needing it. And this person, took my hand, and looked me right in the eyes. He said, 'Would you... deny someone you love, the opportunity to feel like one of the group? Would you ostracize families and friends that love you? Would you... (here is the clincher) deny them the blessings of service?' When you say, 'No, I don't need any help,' you are actually denying those who care about you the chance of blessings they so desperately need, and I personally think you will be held accountable for that.'

”That was the day we lost our little girl, and it still brings tears to my eyes.

”Over the course of the weeks after that, which part of you here were a huge part of, I took those words at face value, and I closed my eyes, and wandered into uncharted territory. Being on the other side of the fence and receiving, rather than being the giver, was a first for me.

”I can't tell you, what a humbling experience that was for me. And yet, this was the Christmas, where I really felt, at peace. Where the hustle and bustle of the holidays didn't over take us. You all will never ever understand what that meant to us. To me.

”When Jodi, during a harried day of her own, took the time to come clear up to Primary Children’s, and delivered the most beautiful items for Ethan... I was stunned. My heart couldn't even pump. I am not even sure I said thank you. I was so taken off guard. I thought she would bring some of Jakes things. Which would have been truly loved and appreciated! I had no idea, what was in store for us...I am still overwhelmed. I don't know if you all felt the peace and love that we did, in giving, but it was an amazing experience for my family, and one I will never forget, not ever.”

What happened was that my wife, through her network of friends (including the author of this posting), had organized a sub-for-Santa for this lady whose special-needs child was currently up at PCMC. She was able to deliver much-needed relief to the family in distress.

I share this for two reasons. The first is to brag on my wife, one of the most incredibly kind and giving women I know. If she hears of someone in trouble, she’s organizing relief before I even get the memo. I feel so totally clueless next to her, and in complete awe of her ability to feel and show compassion. What a lady!

I also share it for it’s doctrinal point. In order for charity to work, there has to be a giver and a receiver. And since for everything (“turn, turn, turn”) there is a season, it must follow that sometimes you’re the giver and sometimes you’re gonna be the receiver. And it is often harder to receive than to give.

Mark Hansen

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing that. I have been in that position many times. I have been chastened many times for not letting other serve me/us. Yet, I feel we are served all the time when it comes to Sean. So often we have had to call a friend to care for our other boys while I have had to run Sean to the hospital for tests or what not just like on Wednesday. I don't want to burden others, but our Bishop, who is one of Sean's Drs has told me that I need to burden others so they can have the opportunity to serve. we must remember to not take advantage of the generosity of others!
    Thanks again!



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