Thursday, July 22, 2010

“You Are My Hands”

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

“You Are My Hands”, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

The theme of President Uchtdorf's address reminds me of a little quote that my sister wrote in a journal she gave me before I left on my mission. Scattered throughout the journal were various quotes that were handwritten by her. I remember one more than any others: "Wouldn't it be great if God could count on you to answer someone's prayer today?"

Speaking of Christ's example, President Uchtdorf reminded:

As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart.

I recently attended a conference in San Diego. As we walked to and from the conference center and around town we encountered scores of people asking for "spare change" each day. As always happens, I wondered what I could or should do to help. When I didn't feel comfortable giving money, I would be sure to make eye contact, acknowledging them, and try to share an understanding and caring smile. While it may not have put food on their plate, it may have helped them to feel valued and important.

The request for "spare change" got me wondering: who has spare change anymore? I remember my father always having a small plastic coin purse he would carry in his pocket when I was younger. I think this was in the day when people actually had cash. It seems that so many of my transactions are done electronically (either online or via credit card) that I rarely even have cash, let alone change.

I was thinking about this when I was walking alone. After making a rare cash transaction, I was asked by a woman for spare change. I was thrilled that 1.) I felt that it was a good idea to share with her, and 2.) I actually had change! This time, I not only looked in her eyes and smiled, but I reached my hand in my pocket and gladly gave her all my change.

This talk of money—cash and change—reminds me of something President Uchtdorf shared from a woman who had a hard life:

I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill—crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much and even though I have been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.

While many of us have felt like this tired woman, I think it's even more useful to think of the others that we encounter that are feeling this very way when we see them. Do I look on others as being worthless or worth less than they really are? I hope not. I want to be Christlike as I try to do what He would do

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