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Because I Hate People Right Now

By Hildie Westenhaver

I have been hating Facebook this week. Elections seem to turn regular people into hateful, ridiculous members of society. I realize that this is America and we are fully entitled to whatever political views we like, but the vitriol scattered over the internet makes me want to quit all inter-personal communication. There have been insults, rudeness and all-around idiocy and I’m so dad-gum tired of it.

I’m getting rather tired of people.

But that’s not good. I’m supposed to love people. Even the ones who have preposterous political views and insist on shoving them in my face. I’ve got to get on board with loving my neighbor again.

To remind me and all of you that there are some really lovely people out there I’m going to tell you a nice story about some wonderful women I was lucky to call my visiting teachers. One particular day about a dozen years ago I had four very young children. I was up to my eyeballs in diapers and board books. My visiting teachers, Wendy and Linda, scheduled an appointment to come visiting teach me one morning. Naturally I forgot all about it.

The morning of the appointment my husband decided to “clean out the fridge”. Meaning he took the 10 or 15 tupperware containers of moldy food out of the fridge and stacked them up nicely on the counter for me to clean out (Thanks, hon!) and then left for work. I fed the kids, piled the dishes on the counter (the sink already being full of dirty dishes) and hopped in the shower.

Halfway through bathing, my four-year-old son came in and announced that there were ladies from church at our front door. I jumped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around my dripping wet self and dashed downstairs. There were my sweet visiting teachers. I apologized and told them to have a seat in the living room while I ran back to my room to rinse out my hair and throw some clothes on.

By the time I dried off and got dressed my visiting teachers had loaded my dishwasher and filled the sink with hot soapy water. They had already emptied out my disgusting plastic containers.

They scrubbed my moldy Tupperware.

As far as I’m concerned that’s the 21st century equivalent of washing somebody’s feet.

When I think about being a good human being and especially about being a good visiting teacher, I remember these visiting teachers. They didn’t say, “let us know if we can help.” They didn’t perch awkwardly on the sofa waiting for me to show up. They just saw a need and filled it. And it was a yucky need. But they did it anyway.

It wasn’t some big deal like I had cancer and they rallied around me. It was just a dumb little thing that took twenty minutes. But it sank into my soul. It showed me the power of kindness and making the world just a smidge better by doing something tiny but amazing.

What awesome little things have happened to you to make you love humanity? Let’s end this week on a happy note by talking about all the wonderful ways we’ve interacted with people! Tell me your stories!

About Hildie Westenhaver

(Blog Team) was born and raised in Detroit, but is happy to call Austin, TX home now. She majored in Art History and Geography at BYU and graduated a week before having her first baby. There have been five more babies since then. Hildie is an avid baker and tries to fatten up the people she loves.

10 thoughts on “Because I Hate People Right Now”

  1. Thank you for that LOVELY, LOVELY account of true kindness. It makes my day!

    I have run across people who would have been offended by that kind of service, but my decision has been to risk the offense and just serve when I see a need.

    I had a total knee replacement 4 weeks ago tomorrow. I knew the surgery was coming. I did everything I could to prepare so that the ward and neighborhood would not be taxed. I arranged for a friend and 2 daughters to each take a week helping at my house. I filled the freezer with food before hand, even planned a month's menus, and began turning down offers of help after the surgery. Dinners still arrived and I graciously accepted them, touched by the willingness of others even when the need was not great. I realized it was a way to show love.

    One morning a good friend dropped by and when she saw my daughter changing my sheets (really needful when you spend 12 hours in bed). She pitched right in and made my bed. I sat in the chair and watched the pure love of Christ as my dear friend and beloved daughter did this simple act. Like you, I felt it was truly a "washing of the feet".

    I couldn't get to the toilet easily at night so I had a bedside toilet for the first 10 days. Each morning which ever dear daughter was staying with me, emptied the bedside toilet. That was even grosser than moldy food! Again, I was touched day after day by a simple, basic, act of pure love.

    I'm so glad I'm young and healthy and can return to serving others. But I think these few weeks have changed me deep inside. The simpler the act, the purer the love! I want to give that kind of love to others!

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  2. Recently I was put on bed rest for a very rough and difficult fifth pregnancy. My husband who hates feet and has never touched my feet EVER gave a mini manicure he cut my toe nails , filed them ,and then painted them before I went to the hospital for a c section..After my delivery my mother came to stay with us. One of the first thing she did after my delivery was color my hair and then wash dry and style it for me. Thse acts both touched me because they were both so personal . I think for mothers of large families when we are ill it can be hard to accept service just for ourselves, but it can be it can be nourishing spiritually.

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  3. The 21st century equivalent of washing someone's feet….ha…I love that! Love your story. But it's hard for me to know when I am stepping over privacy. I don't think I would want anyone washing my moldy tupperware containers. I think I would have felt invaded, thinking….couldn't they have just sat on the couch and waited for me? Just shows once again how we are all different. Yet, I keep thinking now….am I offending those by not stepping in and serving when sometimes it's right in front of my face because I worry TOO much about their privacy? Hard to know what the answer is!

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  4. I was totally embarrassed that my visiting teachers did this! But I was so overwhelmed with my houseful of little children that by the time they finished I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me.

    We are raised to refuse service but when we accept it, our burdens can truly be made lighter. And plus, how dumb of us not to let people help! What are we thinking???

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  5. I'm so with you on the FB sentiments! Thank you for the reminder of the good in humanity. I've entertained many angels in my life over the years. Three of my favorites are the angels who used to play Scrabble with me once a month. Truth be told, we mostly ate delicious food while cheating lazily at Scrabble, but those evenings came during some very difficult years, and those women lifted me more than they will ever know simply by letting me be genuine and laughing with me about all of the silliness of life that we take too seriously.

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  6. after my divorce, only one person sent me a card expressing love and support…and this particular card came with a beautiful necklace my children's names on it, and a polishing cloth to keep it bright.

    i know mine wasn't a health situation or death, and i certainly didn't expect anyone to send me condolences or make me meals, but it has been a rather tumultuous few months in some ways, and while i've tried to put on a peaceful "come what may and love it" face, i confess that sweet act of kindness is something that i've though of over and over as i wear the necklace. it has reminded me of the goodness of others constantly. thank you for this post. and the necklace ♥

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  7. What a BEAUTIFUL act of love! Thanks for sharing it with us, Blue. I have never thought of how to support someone going through divorce – which I believe is as/or more devastating than a health crisis. This is a LOVELY example of caring and showing it!!!

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  8. A friend told me at the end of a chat, "Now ring me – whenever you need something and you're trying to work out who to ring, ring ME! Whatever it is, icecream or help or just someone to be on the other end of a phone line, call ME!"

    I'm absolute rubbish at asking for help, but her stating her willingness to pick up the phone to me was a welcome surprise, and I've actually rung her twice as a result.

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  9. It's really nice to know that there are people out there serving in such sweet and simple ways. Perhaps I can serve like that too?? Beautiful post and comments.

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