Being There


My two oldest boys looking through my parent’s house after it was burned by a fire.

Sometimes it’s still hard for me to believe that my parent’s house burned down. They’ve settled into a new place now and have begun to rebuild their lives.

It’s been seven months since the flames ripped through their home destroying much of their belongings.

I went into their new garage recently to walk by the boxes of stuff that was rescued from the place. I found my box of childhood pictures. The photos were untouched by smoke and fire but sadly many of them still got ruined.

The water used to put out the blazes seeped into the plastic tub filled with photos, sealing many of them together into a giant wad. If you know me, you know I love pictures. I worked for a long time separating several of them, then had to put them aside for a while.

For me it’s just pictures. For my parents it has been much, much more.

This past Sunday my 9-year-old was asked to speak at our church about how he helped serve his grandma after her house fire. It was tragic for my boys to watch someone they love go through something so hard.

I’d like to share with you the talk that he wrote himself. It has been a reminder to me that we can make a difference even when things seem dark – even when it seems like there is nothing we can do to make this world a better place.

Because there is always something we can do. My kids have been great examples of how to be there for someone in need.

This spring we got the opportunity to help someone I never expected and in a way I never expected.

 In May my grandma’s house had a three-alarm fire. We arrived at about 6:30 p.m. We were among the first of the family to arrive.

 We sat there and watched as the flames tore at the house and blackened it by the second.

 There wasn’t any way that I could save her house but I could serve her in another way.

 I could comfort her. I hugged her, held her hand, and cried with her. Over the next few weeks a lot happened. My grandparents needed a lot of love.

 We had some stuff from the house that we had borrowed such as clocks, movies, knives, somehow we had one of their spoons and a lot of other junk from their drawers. That we would give back as presents.

 We visited them. Ate dinner with them. We did not know what exactly would help. We couldn’t take away their trial, but we knew we loved them and wanted to serve them.

 I would like to close by saying one of my favorite scriptures.

Mosiah Chapter 2 vs. 17

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

I don’t know how much my service helped my grandma but I know I felt close to my Heavenly Father.

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