Find Healing through Service

Marcie couldn’t believe God would let her husband die in the car accident. She retreated from life, refusing to answer the door when her grown children came to visit, only leaving the home when absolutely necessary. As the years dragged on, she became more and more reclusive, suffering greatly in her pain and loneliness.

When in pain, our first reaction is often to withdraw and recoil from life, to curl up and try to escape any further pain. Preoccupied by our own suffering, we cannot see or respond to the needs of others. Yet, in doing so, we may be closing the door on experiences that would be extremely valuable for our own healing.

Spencer W. Kimball, past President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said in an address to the Rotary Club,
“Only when you lift a burden, God will lift your burden. Divine paradox this! The man who staggers and falls because his burden is too great can lighten that burden by taking on the weight of another’s burden. You get by giving, but your part of giving must be given first.” 

Grief is a burden hard to bear. As we search for ways to lift that burden, and to find strength to carry it, we would do well to consider service.

I know how difficult it can be to look outside one’s own grief. I know how it feels to be weighed down until one wonders if the effort to try is worth it. However, I have also learned that what President Kimball said is true – that there is a miraculous lifting of that burden when I make the effort to find a way to serve.

Most of us who have lost our husbands are working hard to make ends meet. How does one in that situation find time to serve, when there are hardly enough hours in the day to accomplish just the most basic essentials?

I attest that it is possible, and when I take the time to serve, somehow my efforts are magnified, my problems are minimized, and I ‘come out ahead’!
Our service does not need to be huge or cost a lot. Following is a list of ideas to get you thinking of ways you can begin to reach out and make a difference in someone else’s life – and lift your burden of grief at the same time.

(I have chosen to use the pronoun “her”, but of course each of these could be done for anyone you choose to serve.)
Make a phone call, just to say you are thinking of her.
Write a note of appreciation and put it in the mail.
Invite her on a walk around the block, and renew your friendship.
Stop in for a short visit, just to catch up.
Offer to pick up something for her while you are at the grocery store.
Invite her to go shopping with you.
Make an extra portion of a meal and share it.
Bake extra rolls and deliver them while still hot.
Take her flowers from your garden.
Smile and greet her whenever you see her; start a conversation with her.
Invite her to go to the gym with you.
Find ways to let her know she is valuable to you.
Go to church together; or if you see her sitting alone, invite her to sit with you.

This is just a sampling of ideas that don’t cost much in time or money but that can mean a lot to someone who is hurting, emotionally or physically. 
The philosopher Albert Schweitzer said, “You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who have need of help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

Paul, in the Holy Bible, exhorted the Galatians, “By love serve ye one another.” Christ counseled us, “Come, follow me.” What did He spend His life doing? 


If we are to follow Him, we must do likewise. 
As you find ways to reach out, write in and share with us. We all can use more ideas and creative ways to help heal the world around us, and find healing ourselves at the same time.
In His Service,


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