Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

The Things of Others

Philippians 1:21 - Colossians 3:1

The second chapter of Philippians talks about tender affections of the heart and of compassion.

"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love,being of one accord, of one mind.... let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." (Philippians 2:1-5)

It is the thought of every man looking on the things of others that catches my attention today.  My mind reflects back to a moment that happened two years ago this month.

We had just dropped off our oldest son, Caleb, at the MTC.

We drove home, dressed in our Sunday best, exhausted from the emotion of it all.

It was about two miles from our home that we noticed it...a huge plume of smoke rising up from our neighborhood.

For just a second I thought it might be our home.  As we got closer Megan wondered if it might be the home of my sister-in-law who lived two doors down.  It was when we pulled into our neighborhood that Greg suggested, "I think it is the Cunningham's home.  We ought to drive over and make sure they are OK."

As we drove down the long driveway the neighbor next door yelled for us to grab hoses.  I won't forget Greg pulling off his suit coat and his tie as he ran down the lane.  I won't forget my girl's running first to knock on the door of the home to make sure no one was inside, and then running down the street in Sunday best to petition for help from the neighbors.  I won't forget those who answered the call for help standing shoulder to shoulder across the back lawn with garden hoses, hoping to prevent the fire racing up the gully from overtaking the house and the garage as we waited for the fire fighters to arrive.

We gathered there, like minded, being of one accord, of one mind...every man focused on the things of another...focused on saving the house...on saving the garage.

It was later that afternoon, after the fire fighters had arrived, after the fire was out, after the neighbors who had held the line until the help arrived had returned to their homes that a conversation took place.  One I won't forget.

Greg and I had stopped by the Cunningham's to make sure all was well.

A firefighter stood on their back lawn looking over the burnt gully behind.  "If it wasn't for those neighbors gathered together shoulder to shoulder we would have lost the garage for sure, probably the house."

If is wasn't for those neighbors.

Having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Just this past Sunday Brother Cunningham bore his testimony.  He was remembering too ––the fire, the neighbors who gathered in his behalf, the gratitude for not losing the home or the garage.

And then he said, "I want to tell you about my garage.  It's probably the ugliest in the neighborhood, but it's special to us.  Many years there was a boy I coached in baseball who was going on a mission.  His mother called me, he had no money to pay for his mission.  She asked if there was anything I could do to help.  I paid him to build that garage for me so he could serve a full time mission for the church.  Even if it is ugly, that garage is special to us.  I don't know what we would have done if we lost it.  Our house is special to us too.  It was there that we raised our children.  It was there that we sent out two missionaries.  At Christmastime.  We had no Christmas that year.  It was there we prepared white temple clothes as each of our children went through the Temple.  What would we have done if we lost our home?  There are a lot of things that testify of Christ, the beauty of nature, the changing of the seasons.  The greatest testimony to me is those folks who sit in this building on Sunday and then leave from here and do what He would do.  My testimony of the Lord is the fact that on that day the wind changed and those people who came.  I won't forget the people.  They are my testimony of Jesus Christ."

There is great power when we look out for the things of another.

When we stand shoulder to shoulder having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus...who took upon him the form of a servant..."

Philippians 2:5 & 7

Emily Freeman