Matthew 25:37-40 (MSG)“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’"
Do you want to help, but do not know how? I used to say to people, “I am always here for you if you need anything.” After my own struggles, I came to realize that it was not helpful to receive a general offer of help. What made the most impact on me were the people who gave me specific, concrete ways they could help.
Several years ago, I injured my foot and could not walk. I still had not put away my Christmas decorations in February. I just wanted my house back to normal but I could not do it. I complained to a friend that my Christmas decorations were still up and before I knew it, she had rallied a group of ladies to come to my house and put everything away. It was not something for which I would have asked for help, but it meant the world to me.
Now, when I offer to help someone, I give specific examples of what I can do to help. Here are some quick and easy ways to help:
Send a quick text to let them know you are thinking about them or praying for them.
Send a card of encouragement.
Offer to bring them a meal (or use a meal delivery service) when you know they are having a rough week.
Drop off or mail a surprise gift package. The more personalized, the better.
Forward an inspirational quote, Bible verse, devotional, or article that you feel will speak to them.
Offer to come by and babysit, do a load of laundry, wash the dishes, help clean - be specific about what you are willing to do.
Offer to stop by the store to pick up necessities. It is helpful to preface with something like, “I am running by Target, do you need anything?”Set up a coffee date just to talk.
Pay attention. Notice when you are not hearing from them as often or when you can see in their eyes that they are in pain. It is not always easy to see behind the mask that we portray, but my closest friends always seem to know when I am hurting.
Make or bring them something special such as a stuffed animal to snuggle when they are feeling sad or a soft blanket with their favorite colors.
It does not have to be complex or expensive. Any little action to let them know you care is greatly appreciated. To my friends who always seem to know just when I need you, I love you and appreciate you more than you know!