A Burden?

But I find it hidden deep
Undisturbed, but ready to leap
Requiring nothing more than a word
Dancing about as quick as a bird
Even when I’m so tired
Not going to leave you in the mire

Was reading through the various pins on Pinterest when I came across a description of River Song (from Doctor Who). At the end of the description about her, it mentioned that she had the ‘feistiness of her mother,’ but that she had also ‘inherited the great burden of compassion from her father.’

It made me stop and think about compassion.

Compassion isn’t just something that you give to others, but something that is a part of who you are.

I looked up the word on Google (because my gigantic Webster dictionary (that my family loves and uses as the Last Word on Words) is currently boxed up and in a storage unit two valleys over) and what caught my attention wasn’t the definition given, but the list of synonyms at the end.

Pity sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanitycharity.

Humanity caught my attention, because it made me think of something that I grew up believing. Humanity isn’t something that can be given. It’s isn’t manners or etiquette or anything that is learned. It is something that you are born with even if you don’t recognize it as such. It might not even be something that you feel strongly for in regards to another human. It might only be animals that really stir your heart and mind with tenderness or warmth, but to me, that is still showing humanity.

Now charity is something different and yet the same. It’s all of the words before it and more. It is something that is for others, but because it is for others it also affects us in a way that is difficult to describe. When you show love for others, even if at first you don’t feel it, it changes something inside of you. Practice makes progress after all.

But in the end, charity is something that you have within yourself and it changes the way you think when you are using it for others in a way that doesn’t showcase yourself in any way. Sometimes charity is the ability to forgive and love someone even when they have done you a great wrong.

Because you care more about them than about what they have done.

(This doesn’t mean that you forget it or don’t try and protect yourself. You can forgive without forgetting what happened even if it’s one of the hardest things to do.)

Compassion is a heavy thing to bear, but in my mind it’s kind of like carrying a small child who has fallen asleep. They are heavier asleep than awake because they aren’t helping to hold themselves up at all, but it’s one of the best weights I have ever held.

Memorable Chocolate – Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for chocolate and for all the good memories it brings me. Like the time my niece and nephews made sure that all of their dark chocolate Halloween candy was given to me because I could eat the dark chocolate better than the milk (though I still had to be careful about eating too much.) I’d try to give some of it back sometimes (in the beginning), but they’d just shove it in my bag and walk away.

“Enforce charity!” –my friend’s family

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (Will update link…eventually.)

Have a Happy Halloween! (Seriously, this is my favorite holiday, enjoy it!)

Worship Is More

Worship

What does it mean?

Does it change from time to time?

To pray

To sing

To do everything

Reverent honor

Homage paid to the Most High

Title of respect

To each it is different

Moment to moment

Person to person

Personal

Public

Individual versus the crowd

Is it just a moment?

Is it time well spent?

Does it ever have an end?

A breath of silence

A moment of peace

Found within and without

A chapel made of cement

A temple of marble

A forest full of trees

There are too many ways to do it

Tithes and offerings paid on schedule

Time given and service rendered

Faith

Hope

Charity

The greatest of all

Is the last which is first

For charity never faileth

To have charity is to have faith in another

To give charity is to have hope for the future

To be filled with charity is to be filled with the pure love of Christ

—–

To me, worship is never just a single moment in time, but the continual choice to do good in the world.

This was inspired by the Dungeon Prompt: Take Me To Church.

Tattoo Shop – Day Nine

The one place parents don’t want their children to go.
At times anyone whose been here is looked down upon.
There is more to this place than meets the eye.
The people here have a heart of gold,
Only their skin is tye-dyed.
Of their cause I had to write.
 
Strong emotions filled my heart when I heard
How they reach out to those in need.
Of their time and money they give freely
Paying true to the words: Love all mankind.

This was inspired by something I found in the news this morning. A tattoo parlor that raises money for four to five different causes every year at least. The Death or Glory Tattoos shop is owned by Anna and Earnest Dick and their story touched my heart this morning especially after reading about the stabbing in the school in Pennsylvania (where awesome students and school officials were able to make sure that no one was killed and all who were injured were taken care of).

I keep having to stop typing to calm down so I don’t cry.

This couple raise money not only from their own donations, but also by asking around for any other company that want to donate a service or product for a raffle that they hold in their tattoo parlor. Look them up on Facebook and check them out, Death or Glory Tattoos. They are worth looking into.

This is also my offering for today’s NaPoWriMo (http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-nine/).

Kindness

I was reading through various news websites looking for something to spark my interest today when I came across several stories of people, or animals, doing acts of kindness. I thought I would share a few. I’m not able to share them all, but looking up so many videos and articles about kindness can do nothing but help to bolster my faith in humanity.

The first to catch my attention was about a young woman trying to raise awareness of a chronic illness. When a person with this specific illness stands up, their heart rate goes way up while their blood pressure drops dangerously. It isn’t an illness that shows much, if any, physical signs until they’re on the ground. It’s called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS. It is incurable. The young woman in question was doing a photo shoot of a re-enactment from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and was invited inside by the store owner of Tiffany & Co. at the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has the illness in question, but her family didn’t now until about 4 years ago. She and her family are also donating a tree to the Annual Festival of Trees where people can buy an already furnished tree, sometimes done up in themes, and the proceeds will be donated to charity.

The people donating the trees are getting nothing from it. The young woman and her family are decorating their tree in the theme of the old movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Another article that caught my eye was about a retired military dog meeting his very first kitten and how fascinated he is with the white fur-ball. The clip included in the the quick blurb was heartwarming but it also led to several other videos.

One of a cat who had lost her litter of kittens pretty much taking over for a new litter of cocker spaniels whose mother wasn’t the maternal type (at all.)

There were other videos that touched my heart, mostly one that had snapshots with some explanations of people who had performed random acts of kindness during different heard times for people. There was also a video about a young man buying different things for the homeless and then giving them away to people he found living on the street while dressed up as Iron Man. I think the words he added at the end of his clip touched me the most.

“Even though we are human,

There is a superhero inside all of us.

All you need is a helping hand.

So if you have a chance to be a hero,

Take it.

It can only make the world a happier place.

And please…

Always remember to smile.”

I’ve had someone help my family randomly at the grocery store when we were just a few dollars short on paying for our groceries and having a neighbor several years later that always plowed our rather long driveway every time it snowed that year. And it snowed so much that you couldn’t see anything a yard away from the windows. The world is full of many things, but one of them is kindness in our fellow man and the animals that help bring us peace.

It only takes a moment to change someone’s life for the better, even, no especially, if it’s only in a small way.

Video and news article links:

Tiffany’s: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=27054744&title=teen-re-enacts-quotbreakfast-at-tiffanysquot-for-a-good-cause-&fm=home_page&s_cid=featured-5

Military dog: http://now.msn.com/retired-military-dog-chef-meets-first-kitten-in-viral-video

cat with puppies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6BmU49XG7w

Snapshots of kindness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uge8sMTrzx0

Iron Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JruGsJLLdwI

Charity

I’ve seen a lot of things, or remembered, that I wanted to talk about today, but I didn’t want to do multiple posts. (Those multiple posts on Sept. 11th were kind of an accident.) Finally I had it! They all had a common theme running through them.

Dictionary.com defines charity as generous actions or donations to the poor, ill or helpless; something given to a person or persons in need; a charitable fund, foundation or institution; a benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor.

The Bible Dictionary defines it as the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ.

This last week, two storms hit Mexico and search and rescue teams were out Saturday to dig through the mudslides that had covered the village of La Pintada. They spent hours digging through the mud in the rain looking for any survivors, even when it became apparent that they weren’t going to find them. They were a 16-soldier team with five rescue dogs to aid them. Their commander, Lt. Carlos Alberto Mendoza told The Associated Press that “They are doing unbelievable work, hours and hours for just one body. No matter how hard the day is, they never get tired of working.”

They are digging and digging with little hope of finding survivors, but still taking the time even though it can take up to 14 hours just to uncover one body so that they may identify them and give them a proper burial and closure for their families.

“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (Moroni 7: 45)

In another case, closer to home for me, my Alma mater Riverton High School chose their new Homecoming King and Queen yesterday. The two who were chosen were special needs students who didn’t even know they were in the running. It was not a concerted effort at the school, it was something that just happened because Riverton High School is the kind of place that makes room for you and welcomes you with arms wide open.

Riverton High School also has what they call ‘Silver Rush’ where the student body officers spend weeks leading up to the school fundraiser or drive carefully choosing a charity in which the school will then spend all of December up until the last day before Christmas Vacation not only raising money to donate, but also educating the student populace on the charity and what it does. Each year they raise more money than the year before and the entire student body takes part in the fundraiser. I know this because the year after I graduated, they were outside of my grocery store caroling for donations. They also offer to clean houses and do yard work for people around all of Riverton and donate all of the earnings to the charity of that year.

“Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just– But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interst in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars: Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold and silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?…And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.” (Mosiah 4: 17-19, 21)

The last thing I wanted to talk about is a rather large family during Christmas a little under twenty years ago. this family had been hard up for anything during that winter and weren’t sure that they would be able to do much for Christmas. Starting exactly 1 2 days before Christmas they received a knock on their front door. There was a small stampede to open the door as a good half of the children were under the age of 11 and wanted to reach the door first just because. They were surprised to see a small box on their doorstep and no one in sight. It was dark out and being winter already snowing gently. Inside the box were enough Advent necklaces for everyone in the house to where with a piece of candy for everyday until Christmas Day.

The following night there was another knock on the door. Upon opening the door, they found another gift. I don’t recall what it was, but it mentioned that there were now only 11 days left until Christmas in  note with it. This followed for the rest of the time until Christmas Eve. Each night a knock was heard at the door and no matter how fast any of the children ran, no one was ever caught placing the gift of the day on the doorstep and no car was seen peeling down the street. The gifts were useful things as well as fun things such as the Advent candy necklaces; oranges and other food, toiletries that were getting scarce in the home, hats and scarves and mittens for hands that had been using mismatched socks instead. Smiles were brought to the family’s faces and they never knew who was to thank only that someone was thinking of them when it had looked like the world was turning against them.

“Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16: 14)

Whatever you may call charity, I know that it is a driving force in our world that exists no matter where you go and I am most grateful for that.

News article on storms in Mexico: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=235&sid=25186682&title=rescuers-dig-in-mud-rain-for-dead-in-mexico-slide

News article on RHS Homecoming Royalty: http://fox13now.com/2013/09/21/high-school-sets-popularity-aside-for-homecoming-royalty-picks/