My advising assignment was changed this month to include my home ward and a different branch than I had been visiting previously. Yesterday was the first time I had visited officially as an adviser, and I normally would not have been there on the third Sunday of the month. We speak on the second Sunday of each month, so I normally visit the other branch on the fourth Sunday - so I don't have to be away from my family two consecutive Sundays. However, since we will be out of town next Sunday visiting family in Oklahoma, I decided I should attend the branch this week.
I normally like to arrive at least 30 minutes early, but, due to circumstances I don't need to detail here, I got there with only about 5 minutes to spare. When I walked in and spoke with the Branch President, he told me that they had just realized as the young men were preparing the sacrament this morning that they were out of cups for the water. They were discussing what to do as a result.
They had decided to shift the sacrament to the end of the meeting, so the Branch President could drive home and bring a bunch of small drinking cups from his house. It would be a bit awkward and difficult to manage, but it was the only solution that came to mind. I suggested they go ahead and follow that plan, but that I would call someone in my home ward (which met at the exact same time as the branch) and see if they had any extra sacrament cups - and to see if anyone in that ward would be willing to miss their own meeting to deliver the cups to the branch by the end of their meeting. The Branch President left to go home to get his cups, and I called a few numbers I had on my cell phone until I reached the High Priest Group Leader.
He stepped out of the chapel to take my call just as my ward was singing the opening hymn. He then went back into the chapel, spoke with someone in the YM Presidency, called me back and told me he would bring four sleeves of cups to the branch right away - enough that they could use them again for a couple of weeks if they were unable to get more of their own right away. This good man told his wife and sons what was going on, left Sacrament Meeting before the sacrament was passed, drove 40 minutes to the branch, handed me the cups, then turned around and drove back to his ward without taking the sacrament in the branch - because he had to get back in time to teach the lesson today to his own high priests.
I took the cups to the priests at the sacrament table in the middle of the final talk, and they finished preparing the trays and the table just as the final special musical number was ending - an absolutely gorgeous solo about the birth of Jesus. They literally were lowering the covering on the sacrament as the final note was ending.
There's something amazing about hearing the sacrament prayer said immediately following a beautiful musical number - when the Spirit is so strong you can feel it almost tangibly. There's also something truly touching about listening to that prayer ("are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son") while picturing the good man who made it all possible driving ALONE back to his own building, having missed participating himself in either unit so that he could make it happen for others and still perform the very mundane tasks of his calling.
I know it's a "small thing" in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly brought to my mind the verse:
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
God bless you, Brother Coons.