Last month, Chaplain Larry focused on grief and aftercare support for our friends and co-workers who have lost loved ones. This month, we want to focus on some practical ways to come alongside our friends, family, and neighbors who may be in crisis. Areas we will look at this month are Serious Injury, Life-Threatening Illness, Employment Crisis, and Natural Disasters. When these situations come up in our lives, we often want to help, but maybe don't know how. We hope to give you some tangible examples of how you might help and encourage someone who is dealing with a crisis in their life.
Helping a Friend in Need: Serious Injury
HOW YOU CAN HELP AND ENCOURAGE
Before you make that initial visit or phone call, pray for guidance. A great, simple prayer can be, “God, give me wisdom and insight as I visit my friend. Help me to be a source of blessing and encouragement.”
Often times in cases of serious injury, a person will end up being in the hospital long-term. Initially, there is an influx of people (their support group) that comes and brings flowers, food and well wishes. After a few days to a week, those people stop coming around. They go back to their lives and often don’t make time to stop in and offer continued support. Place yourself in their shoes and you will realize that one quickly becomes lonely and isolated.
GIVE A THOUGHTFUL GIFT
Your presence is most important, but you can also encourage someone and brighten their day with a thoughtful gift. Spend some time thinking about your friend and find something that you know would mean alot to them. Some ideas might include:
- A card with well wishes from people at their work, church, neighborhood, or community group.
- Their favorite magazine
- A new book or movie that they would enjoy
PRACTICE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE
Remember a time maybe where you have been hospitalized and the things that people would say and do that were not helpful, and as you walk into that hospital room or home, be there as a healing presence to comfort, support and listen. Listen deeply from your heart and be as accepting as possible. If you have an agenda of where you think the conversation should go, leave it at the door before you walk in. Allow the person you are coming to care for to direct where the conversation goes.
REMAIN IN TOUCH
Be consistent in your phone calls, texts, and cards. They mean a lot and you never know how God will use the timing of a “Thinking and praying for you this morning” text might lift your friend’s spirits and encourage them to get through the day.
Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV) “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.”
Romans 8:35-37 (NLT) “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT) “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
A Prayer to share with your friend:
"Lord God, I pray that you would give ________ the strength to follow you as they are laid up with this injury. I pray for a quick, thorough healing and recovery, and an attitude of love and grace for all those that wish to care and encourage ___________.