December 21, 2010

"to pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike"

So many people helped me recover after my miscarriage. I had flowers sent from my dear friend, cards, e-mails and phone calls, offers to bring dinner. I felt so taken care of.
Marta of Marta Writes sent me an e-mail and she shared with me her pains and thoughts on her recent miscarriage. I read about hers when it happened and I felt sad for her, but I couldn't relate or even really understand. In her e-mail she asked for my address to send me some of her handmade goodies and the other day I received this in the mail. Cute Christmas cards, scalloped-edged gift tags, Santa Claus stickers, ribbons and a lovely note written in her amazing handwriting. I was amazed that someone, a stranger, would do such a kind thing! She saw a need to serve someone and she did it. It brightened my day and made me feel cared for.

I was reading this talk by Thomas S. Monson and it hit me how important it is to take action when you see a need to help another person. "True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere."

On Sunday I was at church with a very tired William. I was taking him outside for a breath of fresh air and I saw a girl during Sunday School that I don't know very well. She was walking slowly and had her head down. I said hello and she half-smiled in response and walked away. A few minutes later I passed her on a chair in the foyer and noticed that something wasn't right. As I approached her, I put my arm around her and asked if she was alright. She immediately broke down and wept. As we talked for a few minutes I thought about Marta and what I could do to pay it forward? I offered to talk, to baby-sit, to help in some way because I wanted to help this woman. I still don't know her needs and she didn't share what was going on in her life but I hope I helped her feel cared for. I didn't do much of anything to offer her comfort and it occured to me that I need to do so much more to be aware of other's needs. If I'm occupied with my own trails and thoughts about myself, I can't see what opportunites are out there for me to help another.

It's never to early to start a New Year's resolution and one of mine is to try to be more aware of others and less aware of myself. Thanks Marta, for being inspired to send me your gift. It may have seemed small to you but it made a big impact.

"To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike." - Horace Mann


  1. I love this post. God bless all the Marta's in the world!

  2. Great words of wisdom. As Dad always says, the best way to overcome our own sadness is to go out and serve others.

  3. Elizabeth this is such a valuable lesson for all of us. Last year my resolution was to read the entire bible and BOM (I am not a Mormon, yet) I accomplished almost all of that and I was wondering what my resolution would be this year. I think I will resolve to physically touch another person with a hand gesture or smile each and everyday of 2011. Thank you for your inspiration. I hope my touches will go beyopnd that and I will be able to do what ever it is that needs being done. Merry Christmas
    Donna from Massachusetts

  4. Boy do I need to have the same resolution. I find myself missing opportunities to do the right thing often and it isn't a good feeling. Your post was inspiring!
    p.s. her handwriting IS amazing. Before I even scrolled down farther to read your post i studied her letters!

  5. I couldn't agree more with you. It is amazing how much better one can feel when they reach out and help someone else, even if it is just a hug, or a letter. Thank you for reminding me to look outside my own situation & be aware of others.

  6. Liz, it is so interesting that you wrote this post. I decided that the gift that I wanted to give the Savior this year was to find ways to serve others and see what needs others have. I think so much about me and my own life most of the time that I don't find ways to serve others enough. I'm so happy that so many people have reached out and sent you little gifts and kind words to comfort you at this time. Just another reminder for me to always try to pay it forward. :)
    Merry Christmas my beautiful cousin!


  7. you are such a sweetheart, lizzy. thank you for being so thoughtful. i am happy to see you had a wonderful day. i know material things cannot heal a saddened soul, but sometimes they can perk up a blue day. i only know this because someone ELSE did it for me when i had my miscarriage. and i thought it might cheer you up too. i love that you are paying it forward. it's good to be good. thank you for the reminder and lovely post!

    happy new year to you and yours. xo.


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