Monday, March 22, 2010

How to be a Comfort

It seems like heartbreak is all around lately, but it's hard to know how to "be there" for the suffering. Everyone is different, and relationships are complicated, so there's no one right way to be a comfort, but here are some ideas you could consider in a time when you want to let someone know you care:

Mail a card.

Offer to cook a meal.
Talk this over with the person/family before you pull out your pots and pans because you want to make a dish the family you're cooking for will enjoy. For example, I offered to cook for a family once, and they told me they can't eat beef. Good thing I found out before I whipped something up!

Give a small gift. It's daffodil season - these bright flowers are pretty inexpensive, as are other small potted bulb flowers. You're not going for impressive or expensive. Just something to let them know you're thinking of them.

Call just to listen. Not everyone wants to talk, but you can call and see how things go. Don't pry. The goal is just to let them know you're there if they need you, and you're willing to listen if they'd like to talk.

Pray. Pray for the person who's suffering, but also pray for the others in their lives who that suffering person will need to lean on now more than ever.

Show up. If you feel led to, try dropping by to check in with the person. Maybe they could use some company. And, if there's a funeral, show up there (or at the visitation), too. Chances are, unless you're a close family member or friend, they'll be too busy to talk with you long, but just seeing you there will tell them that you care.

Prayer ended up in the middle of the list, but that is the most important of all the ideas on this page. God knows just what that person needs, and just how you can help. It's best to consult with him in prayer before you try any of the other ideas.

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