“What if your neighbor asked you to take 20 minutes one night to help him? Would you do it? Most decent people would. But what if he asked you every night following, with no end in sight? Would you be willing to do it? … When would serving your neighbor feel more like servitude?”
That is the question a group of men had to ask themselves when they united to serve their neighbor Kathy, who suffers from the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. For the past seven years they have lifted Kathy into bed at night. In doing so they have lifted her spirit, as well as their own.
Kathy was diagnosed after 16 years of marriage. She assumed her husband would face the challenge with her. He decided he could not and filed for divorce. When her sons grew up, they had to come to her house every night and morning to help her in and out of bed. The work became too much for them to do alone.
A group of 50 men—friends, neighbors, and church members—offered to help. Every night, two of them come to get the bedtime routine rolling. They pull off her slippers, adjust her pillows, charge her wheelchair, and place pills on the nightstand. Then they lift her into bed. At first, the men felt awkward about the procedure and burdened by the responsibility.
“I felt sympathetic to the situation, but I felt like ‘You know, I’ve got other things I need to deal with,’” one explains.
The group discussed how they could help Kathy without having to visit her every night. One of the men said that if the others didn’t want to help, he would do it himself if he had to. That caused a change in attitude among the group. Kathy’s heart has also been touched and changed as a result of the service.
“I have seen an even greater compassion. It’s let me know that I’m not forgotten, that I’m still valued, not only to God, but I have worth to give other people in different ways,” she says.
If you would like to know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, visit them online at ChurchOfJesusChrist.org or call the missionaries in your area at (814) 389-9098.