“Why do we have to come so early?” Ashley grumbled as she and her parents and brothers sat down in the chapel. Mom and Dad wanted the family to be at church a whole 15 minutes before sacrament meeting started! She’d barely had time to eat breakfast and brush her teeth before it was time to go.
“I like to watch people as they come in,” Mom said.
Ashley noticed Mom looking at the people as they walked into the chapel.
“What are you looking for?” She glanced at the Mendez family as they walked in, but she didn’t notice anything different from usual.
Mom’s gaze moved from one person to the next. “I’m trying to see who might need some extra love.”
“How can you tell?” Ashley asked.
“I notice if anyone seems sad,” said Mom. “Or worried.”
“But how do you know?”
“I look at their faces, especially their eyes,” Mom said. “People’s eyes often show their true feelings.”
“Huh. I guess that makes sense.” Ashley paid closer attention to the people around the room. Mom was right! Some ward members had eyes that seemed a little sad. Sister Henderson looked like she’d been crying. Brother Henderson wasn’t there. Ashley remembered her parents saying that he was very sick with cancer.
Mom wrote down some names in a notebook she kept in her purse. Then the prelude music started, and she put away the notebook.
Later that day Ashley found Mom writing cards. “Are those for the people we saw at church?”
Mom looked up from her writing and nodded. “This is just my little way of helping others. We can’t always take away their problems, but we can try to help. A card shows that someone cares. It’s like an extra dose of love.”
An extra dose of love. Ashley liked that! “How can you know everyone who needs a card?”
“I can’t,” said Mom. “That’s why I pray first. I ask Heavenly Father for His help.”
“Does He tell you who needs a card?” Ashley asked.
“Sometimes I keep thinking about a person. That’s one of the ways the Holy Ghost can speak to us.” Mom signed the card she’d been writing. “I don’t know all the problems people have. Only Heavenly Father knows that. But I want to help where I can.”
Ashley remembered that Mom had wanted a box of cards and stamps for her last birthday. Now Ashley knew why.
That night Mom put a stack of stamped cards on the counter, ready for tomorrow’s mail.
“How many did you write?” Ashley asked.
Mom smiled. “Eight today. I may write a few more during the week as I think of people.”
Ashley thought of her friend Janine, whose parents were getting divorced. Janine was really upset about it and had been crying after school. “Can I use one of your cards?” Ashley asked. “I want to send one to Janine. Maybe it’ll help her feel better.”
“Of course you can.”
Ashley searched through Mom’s box of cards and picked one with bluebirds on it. She found a pen and started to write. “Dear Janine. …”