“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

art by Yongsung Kim

There was once a boy who was in line to the circus with his father.

In front of them, there was a family with eight kids all under the age of twelve. They were clean and well-behaved, but it was clear that they didn’t have much money. 

As they excitedly talked about all the wonderful things they would surely see their first time at the circus, their dad stepped up to the ticket booth. The woman gave him the price for ten tickets.

The wife dropped the husband’s hand as the husband asked for the price again.

The boy saw what was happening and knew the man didn’t have the money. The boy’s dad saw it too.

His dad took a twenty dollar bill from his pocket and dropped it on the ground.

Then, leaning down, he picked it back up and said “sir, I believe you dropped this” to the man in front of them.

The husband knew what was going on. He took the bill and said “thank you. This means a lot to me and my family.”

The boy and his father then went to their car and headed home, their saved up money spent. The boy said of that moment, “we didn’t go to the circus that night, but we didn’t go without.”

In Doctrine and Covenants 81:5-6 the Lord states,

“Succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.

“And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father.”

I think that boy saw an act much more wonderful than anything he could have seen at circus that night—an act of charity and faith from his father that he didn’t soon forget.

As Rabindranath Tagore said, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Find a way to lift the hands that hang down today, and you will surely feel your heart be lifted as well.

Story from “a second helping of chicken soup for the soul.”

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