Did You Think to Ask?

Sharon got a call that her Bishop wanted to speak with her.

She drove to the church and waited for her appointment with him. The Bishop told her he had a new calling for her, that of teaching the 3-year olds in Primary. She respectfully declined. He then offered her the position of cub scout den mother. Surprised, she declined again. Sharon didn’t decline because she’s 80 years old, which she is. She declined because she has a serious heart condition and was lately struggling just to walk up the stairs in her 2-story home. But no one knew.

She felt terrible having to turn down the callings. She didn’t want to be a burden for anyone so she hadn’t shared about her deteriorating health. Although she’s older and petite, she’s been a process server for over 20 years and seems like one tough cookie, full of pluck and vinegar, living alone after the death of her husband. From the outside one might think she could do anything…if you didn’t know what was really going on. Not wanting to disappoint the Lord or His representative she told her bishop about her health. And then drove back home from the church. It was dark when she arrived. She walked into her cold lonely home, out of breath, and sat down on the sofa. Within 10 minutes there was a knock on her door.

Her home teachers had arrived to give her a priesthood blessing. They, too, had received a call from the bishop, but it was after Sharon’s appointment.

I asked Sharon how it was that they didn’t know about her heart. She said she’d never been asked and tried her best to not bother anyone. I’ve learned a lot from Sharon since I first met her last summer. She’s a woman I greatly admire for many reasons.

Is there someone elderly in your church or neighborhood who doesn’t want to be a bother? Do you know who it is that needs you to find them and ask how their health is? Is that person waiting to be asked since they’re perhaps not on social media posting everything about themselves? And then, having asked, do you act?

sharonbonnieSharon, on the right, 10 years ago, ministering to her much older half-sister

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