Thank you to those who commented on Friday's post about responding when others are going through difficult circumstances. A couple of you even wrote to ask for specific ideas for friends who are experiencing trials right now. Though I am certainly not an expert, I definitely appreciate the thoughtfulness being put into reaching out to those around you!
I wanted to follow up with a few additional thoughts to the post. Milissa's comment included a comprehensive list of ideas, based on her experience as she walks alongside her brother who is fighting cancer. Some of the things Milissa shared were pieces I wanted to include in this follow-up post:
Eric and I used CaringBridge during our hospital stay to update friends and family on what was going on. It is a wonderful and free tool that streamlines communication. We also included a post on that site detailing things that we needed so that interested parties didn't have to ask how to help.After returning home, we learned that we could make our CaringBridge entries and guestbook comments into a book. We received the book about a month ago, and it was a humbling and emotional experience to read back through everything.
Milissa also mentioned a site called Take Them a Meal, which (as the name suggests) coordinates the details of bringing meals to a family. Though we did not use a database like this, lots of people blessed us by bringing food over. What a wonderful resource!
I also wanted to mention that I think the words "thinking of you" cover so many situations where it is challenging to find the right words. If you don't know what else to say, letting the person know you're thinking of them really does mean a lot. It acknowledges the person/situation rather than avoiding them, and it is not offensive in any way (as Milissa pointed out, sometimes well-meaning people say things that are insensitive or even preachy).
Thanks for having this conversation with me. I think it's an important topic and one I hope all of us will continue taking to heart. "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:10