On Call for the Lord

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“On Call for the Lord,” Ensign, Mar. 1993, 66

On Call for the Lord

It was a beautiful, picture-perfect summer day as I left the meetinghouse at the end of our Sunday services. After a morning of meetings and lessons, I began to switch mental gears to family and home as I contemplated the menu for dinner.

As I approached the house, the thought came to me forcefully that I needed to visit Jennie,* an older widow. I felt a surge of guilt as I remembered that I hadn’t seen her at church for several weeks, and I wondered if there was something keeping her from the meetings. I quickly dismissed the idea, though, turning my thoughts to the fun of a Sunday meal with my husband and children.

After dinner, I had another nudge of conscience about Jennie. I tried to dismiss it once again, telling myself that since I had already spent many hours at Church meetings, I deserved to spend a pleasurable afternoon with my family. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my mind off Jennie. Once again, the still, small voice whispered to me that I had to visit my dear neighbor around the block.

I finally walked the short distance to Jennie’s home and rang the doorbell. A distraught Jennie answered the door. She burst into tears as she saw me. Then she softly said, “I’ve been praying that you would come.”

For the next hour I listened to Jennie as she sifted through several serious problems. Members of her family were undergoing some severe trials, and she had just learned of a divorce within the family. With the news of this latest family crisis, Jennie had reached her breaking point and was finding it difficult to cope. She had been praying desperately for a listening ear, and the promptings of the Spirit had been trying to tell me so.

The visit to Jennie taught me some valuable lessons that Sabbath afternoon. I saw that no time or day is off-limits for serving the Lord or his children. He expects us to cultivate a listening ear and follow the urgings of the still, small voice of the Spirit, for it is often through us that the Lord answers our neighbors’ prayers.