Want to bless the sick? You can become a haven by helping those who need it most.
Over the past three weeks, my family’s been quarantined at home with an awful virus.
Somehow, in all of our hustle and bustle, the contagious sickness worthy of a pandemic was passed to me and my son. And, before we knew much about the symptoms, the two of us passed it onto my daughter and my husband.
Fortunately, we only have mild cases, complete with chills, fatigue, aches, odd feelings in our throats, and fevers. Eleven days of fever.
Even mild cases of this virus are no joke. Feeling sick for three weeks has become a true test of endurance.
As we’re trying to recover while living under isolation, one thing is making the entire experience much easier for our family: Loved ones reaching out to bless our sick family.
How to Bless the Sick
When someone else is sick, it can be hard to know what to do. You want to help. You want your friend or family member to get better. But how can you help?
By keeping just a few things in mind, you can bless the sick in amazing ways:
You don’t have to have answers, and you don’t have to offer a cure. But if you know someone’s sick, let them know you’re thinking of them. If you have prayed for them, tell them. Texting, e-mailing, or sending a card can mean a lot.
Would your loved one need a ride to the doctor or pharmacy? Could you run an errand or pick up groceries? Could they use some company in a waiting room? If you know there’s a need, offer to go with your sick friend.
Food always is an amazing way to help the sick or grieving. Everyone needs to eat, but sickness and grief are two times when no one feels like cooking.
As you plan a meal to take to the sick, ask about any food sensitivities or allergies first. Then start cooking!
If you don’t feel like cooking a meal, drop off a carryout meal, instead. Or, don’t even worry about an entire meal – a treat like ice cream can really brighten a day.
And if dropping off food isn’t possible, you can send a gift card. Or, arrange to have food delivered – either meals or groceries. (Since I can’t get out right now to personally deliver food to my sick friends, I’ve been ordering get well groceries online and having them delivered through InstaCart. It’s a super handy way to send chicken noodle soup, orange juice, and a fresh bouquet of flowers.)
Think of ways to brighten your loved one’s day:
- Stop by with some flowers.
- Send a cheerful card.
- Try to add humor by calling with a funny story or forwarding a hilarious meme.
- Come for a visit and plan on staying to sit down and talk.
A few things to remember…
You’d like to be helpful and caring to your sick friend or family member so you can make their situation better and bring comfort. But there are a couple things to keep in mind:
- You may think you know what is best, but unless you’re a health professional, have experienced the same illness, or your friend directly asks you for advice, it’s probably wise to keep your opinions and instructions to yourself. No one likes to be bossed around, especially if you’re not feeling well.
- As much as you’re sincerely ready and willing to help, your sick loved one may not ask for your help. They may not want to burden you, ask any favors, or bother you. If you’re ready and willing to help, just do it. Instead of asking, “Can I bring you food sometime?” say, “I’m bringing you over some food today. Will you be home at this time?” By changing your phrasing in this way, you’re already committing to help your friend – they can pick a time without giving a “You don’t have to do that” excuse.
If you’re living with the sick
If you happen to live with someone who is sick, you’ve probably already discovered your role as caretaker.
You may only be needed to help out a little or even just listen to conversations about aches and pains. Or, you may be right in the middle of the hardest role of your life.
Wherever you find yourself, know that your attitude and willingness to help both speak volumes. You may not enjoy what you need to do right now. It might come as a huge physical, emotional, and mental sacrifice.
But remember that you are offering an amazing gift and a selfless act of love. You may need to do more cooking, cleaning, or shopping than you’d prefer. But while this humility on your part is difficult, it’s also amazingly beautiful.
You are being a haven even if and when you don’t feel like you have it in you.
Becoming a haven
None of these suggestions are difficult. And some are super quick. Yet by reaching out to those in your life who are sick, you’re becoming a haven for them.
Remember, a haven doesn’t have to be a place. You’re simply opening your life to someone else and showing that you genuinely care.
As you go out of your way to help the sick, they’ll be encouraged as they experience your love and concern. Much like I’ve cried in the past week every single time a friend has stopped by to bless my family.
We’ve savored pot pies, sourdough bread, cheery flowers, gift cards, ice cream, immune tinctures, Gatorade, beef and noodles, cookies, broccoli cheese soup, pizza, chocolate chip pie, and chicken noodle soup. And with every delivery, I thank God for bringing such wonderful, generous people into my family’s lives.
Because of our quarantine, we’ve kept our social distance as our thoughtful friends have left surprises and packages on our front porch. But it’s been wonderful to know people care about us and love us so much. They’ve become a haven for our family in the midst of our storm.
Those sweet friends certainly know how to bless the sick.
How do you like to bless sick people in your life? If you’ve been sick, what has someone done for you that was pretty wonderful?
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All images courtesy of Unsplash.
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