When I was a young mother, I had just had my fourth child. There were some complications during the birthing process. Consequently my precious tiny boy was rushed to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. For most of the 12 days that he spent in the NICU we wondered if he would be coming home at all. It was heart wrenching to see that tiny little body lay lifeless in the incubator except for the machine that was helping him breath. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with heartache, pain and anguish, blaming myself for something that I may have done during my pregnancy. I had wished so hard for this baby to be born early and now he was, (2 weeks) and at what cost? What Had I done. It was a terrifying experience that many young couples experience when their child is born with medical issues. Luckily for us, his stay was brief and we were able to bring him home with just a feeding tube, which he was able to go without in just a few days of being home.
But what I really wanted to talk about today is the joy that can be had through serving others. That experience with my little boy was hard but it was made bearable by the people who stepped up to serve us. Bringing meals, taking care of our other children, giving phone calls of encouragement.
One particular act of service was so sweet and thoughtful that it left an impression on me to this day. One day as I arrived home from the hospital I found a beautiful Easter Lily on my porch. It was not in full bloom. Just a couple of blooms were visible. But it had many buds ready to bloom. Inside the card that was placed so tenderly among the flowers, it read something like this: “I know that this has been a really hard time for you. We wanted to give you something to look forward to each day as you go through this trial. These beautiful white lilies are precious and gentle just as your baby boy. They take time to be nourished and to bloom fully. Hopefully, by the time your little one recovers and is able to come home, the lilies will be in full bloom.”
What a sweet way for us to count down the days until he was able to come home. And the lilies were in full bloom by the time he was better.
That little act of service brought so much joy into my life when the days were long and hard.
Today, look for small ways that you can reach out and serve others. It’s the start of the holiday season and a time that we all want to spread joy. So start today and make someone’s day a little brighter.