03 April 2013

Óleo

I have been making my way through the New Testament again, and I just reached one of my favorite parables--the parable of the ten virgins. I was telling my fiance about an experience on my mission that corresponds to this parable, and I thought I'd share it here because of how vivid the lesson was for me at the time.

One of my former companions was struck by a motorcycle while walking on a sidewalk. Her leg was broken, and she was taken to the hospital. When President and Sister Pinho went to visit her with the two assistants, she requested a blessing.

President had no oil, which really isn't hard to imagine. He was always giving blessings because he was always on call for when someone was truly in trouble and no one else could come to our aid. The way I remember my President was serving until it showed in his face how tired he was. And yet he was always smiling. He was the image of a perfect Brazilian man, and we just loved him for it. Even though it was serious that he had no oil on him, you couldn't help but love him even more because of it for exactly what it meant he had been doing with his time.

So he looked to Sister Pinho, because she always carried consecrated oil to give away to all the missionaries. Sister Pinho was infamous for her motherly instruction at all of our zone conferences, and this was one of the many things we always anticipated: "Quem tem óleo consagrada, e quem não tem? Quem precisa? Vem e pegar." (Who has consecrated oil and who doesn't? Who needs it? Come and get some.)

She would then dispense small vials on keyrings to whomever was without. I still have the vial she gave to me, and I keep it with me always. She taught us much about the priesthood from her example, and the importance of preparation. Many times we were the only ones with oil handy in our areas, especially in areas with a very young Church presence.

But on this occasion Sister Pinho had no oil for precisely this reason--she had already given hers away.

President turned to both of the assistants, who also had no oil. Whether they had given theirs away or simply assumed that President or Sister Pinho, being more experienced, would have it--it did nothing to help the situation.

Becoming desperate, they looked to her companion. But when she glanced down for her oil vial (attached to the zipper pull on her backpack) only the cap dangled there uselessly. And when I saw this Sister at a later conference, she still had it in the same place on her backpack.

The five of them surely felt the weight of the situation as they began looking for expedients. But my companion, wise as she always was, reached into her bag and pulled out her own oil. "Eu tenho óleo Presidente, pode me dar uma benção." (I have oil President, you can give me a blessing.)

It doesn't take a lot to be an unwise virgin with no oil. The good intentions of my president and his sweet wife are a testimony to how even the best of intentions can be unwise. If we are always giving of ourselves, taking no time to replenish our reserves, keeping nothing for ourselves, we will give until we have nothing left. My President told us this account so that we would learn that this kind of behavior is not charity--it's foolishness.

For this reason, I recently bought myself a second oil vial. The one Sister Pinho gave to me is reserved for the service of others in case they ever need a blessing--still in commission in memory of my missionary service.

The other is only for me. As part of my preparation, I told my fiance about it. As the only priesthood holder in my life and as my future husband, he needs to know where I keep that reserve of oil for myself. I know that he keeps oil on his person and in his car at all times--but just in case the moment is dire. Just in case he is without his vial and the car is too far away. Just in case he is in a momentary panic, looking for expedients.

I want him to know that I will always have an oil vial, just for me. Full and ready.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts