Lately, I’ve really been struggling with learning what true charity is. Usually when I think charity and service, I think of going to other peoples’ homes and helping them in some way. This last week a lady in my ward has been sick so we went to help clean her house. It was a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed helping another in need. When I want to work on charity, I look for people in desperate need of help. While driving, I stop by most people I see and offer them a ride. When someone is sick, I try to find a way to make a meal for them. When friends are in need of financial help because of medical bills, I see how much I can offer to help make ends meet. I sign up for every service project that passed around in church.
But something has bothered me about this approach. Why do I have to look for such an extreme case for charity every time I want to help? Why is it that the only people to serve are outside my home?
Today I have been pondering why it’s been so hard for me to figure out. Now, I’m not saying these aren’t good things to do and it isn’t charity, but today I realized I can be charitable and serve people every day, in my HOME. I can do more dishes and stop worrying about who made the mess. If I’m willing to clean a stranger’s mess, why can’t I clean my own family’s mess too! I can spend more time listening to my husband’s stories, instead of itching to tell my own. I can stop checking my email and Facebook all the time and play with my son instead. I can let my little pet peeves go, instead of getting angry about things that don’t really matter. I can offer to make dinner instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me. If someone bothers me, I can choose to not talk about them behind their back. I can choose to be kind and forgiving instead of getting frazzled about every little thing that irritates me.
I guess I can practice having charity every day! And I can love it.