The Stranger Started from Disguise

The Savior has a work for us, His covenant sons and daughters, and that work is to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”

BYU has an amazing jazz band called Synthesis. I first heard them perform at the 2016 Homecoming Spectacular, and I was so impressed with their music that I went online and bought two tickets for their next concert, which was to be at the end of the following month.

The day of the show arrived. In the morning I realized that I still hadn’t found anyone to go with me, so I texted a few friends, but only one of them was really even interested in jazz. I didn’t get any responses. Finally, at 7 pm, I decided to head over to the Harris Fine Arts Center alone in hopes that I would find someone outside calling for an extra ticket. It had worked once, so I figured it would work again.

Upon entering, I took a lap around the large lobby to search for any anxious or distressed faces who might need a ticket, but everyone seemed to be fine. I stayed outside until three minutes before the show, even running into a classmate with whom I had a pleasant conversation, but finally deciding that no one was in apparent need, I put the extra ticket inside my pocket and went inside to find my seat.

The concert began. The jazz was excellent and the musicians had us all tapping our feet in our seats.

During the third song, my phone buzzed with a text from Joseph, who lived in the next apartment over—my one friend who was actually interested in jazz! He said that he’d just gotten out of an exam and that he’d just seen my message. Quickly I responded and invited him to come see the rest of the concert. He agreed. He arrived a few minutes later and we enjoyed the rest of the show together.

As we walked home after the concert, Joseph told me about how he played the saxophone and knew quite a bit about jazz. Finally we reached our apartments and I thanked him for accompanying me. At that moment, he stopped outside of his door and turned to me.

“No, thank you for inviting me to come with you,” he said. “You know that exam that I just finished taking?”

“Yes,” I said.

“I did really badly on it, so today’s been a hard day. I really needed this.”

As I saw the sincere appreciation in his eyes, I couldn’t help but think to the words of the Savior, who told His disciples, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Then my heart reminded me of the beautiful verse from A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief:

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.

That evening, I realized that even though I was serving Joseph, I was really serving the Savior Jesus Christ. “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).

The Savior has a work for us, His covenant sons and daughters, and that work is to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (Moses 1:6, D&C 81:5). We are His hands on the earth, and we have a commandment “That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:21).

This Christmas season, as we seek to #LIGHTtheWORLD in 25 ways over 25 days, may we remember the Savior’s example of service and seek out the brokenhearted and the bound who need our love (Isaiah 61:1). As we do so, our hearts will be filled with the true joy of Christmas!

Cristian Torres

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