A friend of my daughter 's, asks to borrow a few hundred dollars. It's the weekend and on the following Monday, she promises to pay her back. It's ironic someone would ask to borrow money from my student-poor daughter who worries each month about paying her rent. But she does have the money, and she loans it out. Now she's worried.
I hear the catch in her voice.
"Come on, just let it go," I coax.
"Okay, and she tells me the money borrowing incident."
I worry most that if the friend doesn't pay back the money, my daughter will have the burden of disappointment. I don't want her to resent the borrower either. I give her a pep talk, assure her the friend's intentions are good and help her to let it go.
My father had a great plan when anyone needed to borrow money. He lent the money, but in his own mind, he pretended he gave it away- when the cash left his wallet, it's as if it were never his. With his philosophy, he protected himself from resentment if the borrowers never repaid him.
We hang up the phone and I feel her burden. I call her back and insist that if the person doesn't pay her back, I will write her a check for the lost amount.
She insists she will not take my money.
I insist that she will.
"I want to make up the difference. You have to let me," and then I have a golden moment of insight. "Don't you see it? It's like the atonement. Someone falls short, so I'm there to make up the difference, to make it right."
I've seen a glimpse of the divine. We fall short and the Savior makes up the difference. It is grace. It is his benevolence. I cry because I understand just a little bit more the plan of salvation.
Every so often, I see a shaft of light in a dusky world, and understand just a little more, one of God's principles. The light brings tears and gratitude. It helps me understand our God of whom I have no knowledge, but of whom I rely on with faith.
In another instance, Tony makes a sacrifice for a person in need, but this person cannot show gratitude because he is consumed in his own story. Tony feels a little discouraged, but I have witnessed the entirety of his sacrifice.
I tell Tony how much I appreciate what he's done for this other person and in my eyes, he's grown in stature.
It happens again, my breath catches and I tear and choke up because once again I've glimpsed how heaven views the world.
"It's like Heavenly Father!" I say.
When we serve our fellowman, it may go unnoticed, unrecognized, unrewarded, but it never escapes the sharp eyes of an omnipotent Heavenly Father who always knows what we have done for our fellowman. It doesn't matter if the recipient of our devotion isn't grateful, because God is. He's told us when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God. He's told us to do our alms in secret, for when we do, he rewards us openly.