My husband and I have been called on an inner city service mission to work with a group of low-income retirees.
Some of those we serve have teeth and some of them don’t. They are teaching us that looks don’t really matter.
Some of them take their dogs everywhere they go, including church. They are teaching us that it’s always good to have someone or something to care for.
Some of them hobble along with the support of walkers. Some are wheelchair bound. They are teaching us about the courage to go beyond your handicap and come anyway.
Many of them have no family in the area so they have bonded together. They are teaching us about loving their neighbors.
They want us to love their dogs like they do. So we watch Fido run down the hall of the apartment complex, stopping to sit or beg at their master’s command. We cheer the dog on, and we see the sparkle in their owner’s eyes because we have complimented their training efforts. They are teaching us about nurturing others.
They love to read the Book of Mormon each week at Family Home Evening before the pot luck dinner. They are teaching us that spiritual nourishment comes before physical nourishment.
They love hugs. Every time we meet, their eyes look into ours, asking are you going to hug me today? We put my arms around them. Of course we’re going to hug you today. They are teaching us about love.
They are teaching us much more about service and love than we could ever possibly give them. Our small acts of kindness have come back to us an hundred fold and the blessings we receive are far greater than we ever imagined.
Christy Monson loves writing for children. Pioneer history has always had a special place in her heart—particularly stories of the prophets. She has published articles in The Ensign, Friend and other children’s periodicals. She and her husband, Robert, have lived all over the United States, enjoying the company of Seminary and Institute youth for over 36 years. During their stay in Las Vegas, Christy received a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and established a counseling business.