Look and See
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“Look and See,” Liahona, Mar. 2000, 8–10

Look and See

Doesn’t he realize he’s making us late for an appointment with the best family I’ve ever taught? my mind screamed as I turned my bike around. I was a missionary in the Taiwan Taipei Mission, and my new companion, Elder Loo, was lagging behind as usual.

I found him talking to a woman who was angrily holding a thick stick in one hand and clenching the arm of a small, whimpering boy with the other. I listened as Elder Loo tried to talk her out of beating the boy. She left without the stick.

When we finally arrived at our destination, my companion taught the family about “the first and great commandment,” to love the Lord. “And the second is like unto it,” he read, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:38–39).

I flinched. Although I had taught this discussion many times, it was as if I were hearing the scripture for the first time. I would have helped that little boy if we hadn’t been late, I rationalized. But I couldn’t convince myself.

Following a beautiful discussion on sacrifice and service, we made our way to our next appointment. But before we got far, I realized I was again alone. Elder Loo was helping a drunken man who had wrecked his motorcycle.

As we peddled slowly through the crowded market, my companion stopped again. I watched as he knelt by a crying child who appeared to be lost. The child’s eyes were red and puffy, and his face was streaked with tears. We didn’t leave until Elder Loo had assurances from people who said they would locate the boy’s parents.

I followed in silence, my mind racing. Why hadn’t I noticed the crying child? Or the motorcyclist? Why did he see things I missed?

Then it dawned on me. He saw opportunities to serve because he looked for them. He didn’t trail behind because he was just enjoying the scenery; he was looking for people in need.

I wondered what I would see if I really looked.

The next morning I didn’t race ahead of my companion. We rode side by side, looking, listening, and ready to serve.

Since then, whenever I think no one needs my help, I slow down and take another look. It’s amazing what I see.