So many times, we see someone we know in a difficult time or tragedy… a death in the family, getting laid off, sick children, out of the ordinary situations. We are quick to say “hey, let me know if you need anything” and most commonly, we hear “thanks… I will”, but the problem with all of that is in times of tragedy or hardship, people do not know what they need.
Here is what they do need…
They need to know you care and are there for them.
They need to know they do not expect a return phone call or text if you are calling to check on them.
They need to know that you know about the tragedy.
They need to know they are loved.
The mom that is breastfeeding a child, and has another running around the house is not sure what she needs, but we do know she needs something. The single mom who had to take on a second job because her husband just ran out on her, we may not be able to pinpoint what she needs, but she does need something. The husband whose soul mate/wife just passed away of a heart attack, whose grass is growing too tall and he does not know how to work the oven or microwave because she always cooked for him needs something.
Don’t ask them what they need. DO SOMETHING. TELL them what you are doing. It can be as simple as saying “Hey, we are bringing dinner over tonight at 6:00. How can we get in if you are not home?” or “I am sending Tim over to cut the grass tomorrow afternoon.” It could also be “Susan and I are coming over this afternoon to help with laundry and housework.” Or “I’m coming by to take the kids for the day so you can get some stuff done.”
From personal experience…
Not too long ago, my dad passed away and I was away working. My wife was taking care of the kids and handling funeral arrangements, things were getting hectic. Some people from the gym asked us to leave the back door open. They came in, did two loads of laundry, cleaned all the main rooms (dusted, vacuumed, swept floor, washed dishes, etc.) and left two nights worth of dinner labeled in the fridge.
They loved on us in ways that we did not know that we needed. They gave us the things we NEEDED, but did not even ask for. Not a gift card or a phone call, they were truly the hands and feet of Jesus. They served; they gave.
If someone you know is having a hard time, make time and give them something they need that will take something off their daily plate. True friendship does not ask….it does. Doing something is so much better than promising everything.