It seems that the subject of most meetings at church these past weeks has been “ministering.” There have been many great lessons and talks on the subject of ministering. However, one of the greatest lessons of ministering I have learned to day comes from my grand-daughter, a four year old with the heart of a gold.
Recently, she and her little brother have been joined by a new brother. Her new brother is older than she is and comes with many challenges. When he is sad it is hard to determine what the matter is and to know how best to help him. Such was the case this morning. Brother was sad.
Mama was holding him and hugging him to bring him comfort. This little girl with a heart of gold, crawled up on their laps and hugged too. She didn’t say a word. She just hugged until the sadness was gone.
I think this is what real ministering is. When we are sad the Savior wraps his arms around us. We, His ministering hands, add to the comfort and care. We make a love sandwich, allowing the person to truly feel the loving care of the Savior. We are “instruments” of love in His hands.”
“We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us. ” President Thomas S. Monson
Making a love “love sandwich”can be simple. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught, “… we can welcome and love all of God’s children, including those who might dress, look, speak, or just do things differently… Let us lift those around us. Let us extend a welcoming hand. Let us bestow upon our brothers and sisters in the Church a special measure of humanity, compassion, and charity so that they feel, at long last, they are finally home.” (You are My Hands, Ensign, May 2010).
Ministering includes the commandment to “mourn with those that mourn” and to “comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” In Proverbs we learn that “a friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Ministering is loving others at all times. Ministering is loving others as ourselves. Ministering is seeking the happiness of others.
True ministering is a love that requires action. Christ did not just speak about love. He IS love. He went about showing love all day long. He did not remove Himself from the crowd, from uncomfortable situations, from hard situations. He reached out for the one. He rescued the lost and lifted the downtrodden. He showed us how to “succor the weak, lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
Today, my sweet grand-daughter reminded me what it means to have a ministering heart.