Thank you. A nice reminder.One member of our ward, named Leo, is an older man with vision and speech issues, and perhaps some dementia or other disability (he has a heavy accent and makes comments in Sunday School that are hard to decipher). Leo joined the church about 3 years ago. Lately he has been blessing the sacrament, which has been kind of an adventure for everyone in attendance at sacrament meeting because he struggles to get through the prayer and takes quite a long time to do that.
Yesterday Leo had an especially difficult time and ended up giving the prayer 4 times before he got it right. (Our bishop will let small errors go -- slurred words, for example -- but Leo's mistakes yesterday were just too big to ignore.) It was hard for everyone present because we wanted Leo to do well and not be embarrassed. But the episode passed and we just moved on with the meeting.
It was testimony meeting, and one of the last persons who spoke, a woman who fairly recently reactivated herself, very emotionally brought up Leo's struggle. She looked down from the pulpit at him, seated in the pews, and in a breaking voice thanked him, saying that the sacrament prayer had become routine to her and she'd fallen into the bad habit of not listening to it carefully. Thanks to him, she said, she had been forced to listen to the prayer carefully and as a result had a new appreciation for the meaning of many of the words. She also was deeply touched, she said, by Leo's determination and persistence in getting the words right. There were few dry eyes in the chapel by the time she sat down. It was a touching and unexpected moment. I like to think the Lord was happy with it. I also learned something important about patience and charity.
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