“’Ye Have Done It unto Me’” Liahona, December 2018
Our family has a Christmas tradition of giving gift bags of food, gloves, hats, and other necessities to those in need. In 2016, Christmas Eve was especially cold for the area of California, USA, we live in. We were bundled up, but we were still shivering!
As we drove to a park near our home where many people who are homeless stay, we saw a man huddled in the meager shelter of a bus stop, covered in an old blanket. My husband, Dennis, stopped the car and took our son, Jonathan, with him to give the man a gift bag. Our daughter, Abbey, and I stayed in the car and watched.
The man lifted his head as Dennis handed him the bag. A huge smile spread across the man’s face. They shook hands and began to talk. This was unusual because normally there isn’t much of an exchange.
After several minutes, Dennis returned to the car and opened the trunk.
“Is everything OK?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I’m giving him my parka. He needs it more than I do.”
I was speechless. This was a really nice parka that Dennis had worn only a handful of times! Dennis went back to the man and helped him put on the warm parka. The man’s face was beaming. Dennis and the man continued talking.
I felt compelled to meet this man. I opened my car door, and Abbey followed me. Dennis smiled as we approached, and he introduced us to the man. I extended my hand and asked for his name.
He took my hand, smiled warmly, and replied, “Jesús.”
My family continued the conversation, but I didn’t hear much after that. I kept thinking of the significance of this sweet man’s name: Jesús—the name of our Savior. In that moment, I was reminded of the Savior’s teaching: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). That experience forever changed me.