Creative Ways Christians Can Minister to Friends With A Serious Disease
A friend with a serious illness often needs help. Even though he doesn’t look sick the road to recovery may be long and difficult. The scriptures call for believers to provide a caring role, and seeing that many patients frequently find it difficult to ask for help, here are some hints to help you minister to their needs.
Food is a good way to show concern. Frozen meals give the patient easy-to-prepare food they can eat at their own pace. Avoid seasoning, which makes foods more difficult for some patients to tolerate.
The disease often becomes all-consuming for the patient. Distractions such as movies, magazines or puzzles are often welcome additions to their routine.
Your friend is using a lot of energy to fight his disease. Don’t waste it with long visits, and watch for signs you need to go so they can rest. Take the burden of excusing yourself off of your friend’s shoulders.
Calling from the hospital is often expensive. The gift of calling cards offer a less expensive way of making calls so the patient is able to keep communication lines open. Find out whether they’re allowed a mobile phone and ensure their plan is kept up-to-date.
Give your friend the gift of a listening ear. Sometimes they need someone outside the immediate family to listen without judgement. There may be aspects of their illness they can’t share with a family member.
If the patient has young children at home, offer to babysit so they and their significant other can spend some time alone on a date night. Illness can take a private toll on romantic relationships; your help may save a marriage.
Offer to help get the house ready for the patient after a hospital stay. If they are already home, offer to clean. Visit as you complete chores to keep the matter upbeat and prevent awkwardness.
Music helps patients remain calm and relaxed. Bring over an MP3 player if the patient doesn’t have one.
Provide Stamped Stationary
Sometimes patients need to write notes to others saying things they cannot verbalize. Stamped stationary provides an easy-to-use medium they can just drop in the mail when finished. A memento of the patient’s handwriting is often a treasured gift, too.
Look Out for Their Interests
Philippians 2:4 reminds Christians of their duty to look out for the interests of others. This can mean spiritual needs, health care, monetary issues or something as simple as changing the channel on the television for someone whose hands won’t work as well as they used to.