When you are sick or grieving the loss of a loved one, it can be crazy how many times you will hear, “let me know if you need anything” or “I wish there was something I could do.” All of which are nice thoughts, but often times those who have been in your shoes before are the ones who will step out of their comfort zone and “do”. We have all been there and said those things and while there is nothing wrong with that, occasionally slowing down your day-to-day and putting words into action are very meaningful. Visiting someone, bringing meals, giving gifts, offering prayer, and providing practical help are all ways to put your words into action. We’ve all heard “actions speak louder than words” and what better time to prove that than a time such as this?
Sometimes taking thirty minutes out of your day to sit and visit with someone who is sick, has a sick loved one, or someone who is grieving the loss of their loved one is all it takes to turn their day around. Taking time for them out of your day really shows them that you care. Visiting and reminiscing over past memories or praying over a friend can put a smile on anyone’s face. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could be the one to help bring that smile? Visiting doesn’t have to be in person. Especially during a global pandemic, visiting someone may mean making a phone call or facetiming to talk with someone and check in.
Families who have a sick loved one can become easily drained and exhausted. Going to doctor’s appointments, picking up medicines, and trying to maintain your lifestyle can become overwhelming. Having a friend bring a warm meal after a long day may be just what they need. One less meal to plan and kitchen to clean may provide a needed break one evening.
While you are planning to visit with a friend or family member, it may be nice to bring a small gift. Although, the gift of your time may be all they are needing, it may be nice for them to have a magazine to look at to clear their mind, a candle or new lotion to help them to relax. An edible gift may also be special, like a basket of fresh fruits or even a box of candy. It is especially important to remember those who may be in the hospital during this time with the loneliness they may feel and the boredom that may set in at times.
Prayer can be an extremely powerful gesture. Though many will say, “you are in my thoughts and prayers,” but the truth is, they may never really follow through. Praying with and over someone may be the most powerful and thoughtful way to “be there” for them. For this person to actually see and hear you take their fears and worries to the Lord may be the most precious gesture you could give.
Providing all of these listed above are great ways to be there for those who are sick or may have lost a loved one, but something many are too prideful to ask for is practical help. Mowing the lawn, picking up prescriptions, going to the grocery store, taking and dropping off kids at school and practice, or helping care for a pet are all ways to provide practical everyday help. When going through an illness these can easily fall to the wayside and make the day to day overwhelming. A lot of times, these tasks do not cost anything but your time and will mean more than any gift that you purchase.
The proverb, or phrase, “actions speak louder than words” dates back several hundred years. Look in the Bible in the first book of John: “My little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). The proverb reminds us that what we do is much more important than what we say we will do. Remember this as you are thinking of a loved one who is going through difficult times, whether it be a sickness in the family or grieving the loss of a loved one. 2020 has brought so much grief and anguish for so many. I challenge you to set time out of your day to do something special for someone who may need a little extra attention to help them to know they are loved and cared for.