We woke up this morning to quite a snow storm.  We shovelled, and shovelled, and shovelled some more.  The snow continued to fall.  We had still planned on going to church but received a call that meetings had been canceled.  It is the first time that I can ever remember church being canceled, so it was a bit of a disappointment but was understandable as there seemed to be no end in sight of the storm, the roads had not been plowed, and people simply could not get out.

Today’s ad hoc “meetings” were an example of the church in action.  Many calls were made to check on home teaching families and to make sure that ward members knew that meetings would not be held.  The young men of the ward went around the neighborhood and cleared walks and drives.  Neighbor helped neighbor.  Much service was given, and many will have sore muscles tomorrow.  It is comforting to belong to a church that is also concerned about and is equipped to assist with the physical/temporal welfare of its members.

I was reminded of how events like this seem to unite people and bring out the best in us, at least in terms of serving and caring for one another.  I remember 9/11 and how the country came together.  Even though most of us were not impacted directly, I can’t remember ever seeing a greater display of patriotism and unity as the country experienced after that terrible event.  On a much smaller scale, I see this in my own family- when one member of the family is ill or has some other extraordinary need, we rally around them, and this helps us achieve a greater sense of unity and love.  And this is as it should be.

But, I have often wondered, if we are capable of such unselfishness and expressions of love, why do we usually wait for a snowstorm, an illness, or some other tragic event to impel us to action?  Certainly those events provide great opportunities to render service in tangible, visible ways, but I believe there are many more opportunities to help others or to show kindness in less visible ways, and for various reasons we may often overlook these types of needs.