You know what’s difficult? Trying to figure out how to write an article that’s meant to encourage others after something really sad has happened. My cousin died on Tuesday, at just 41 years of age – he’s the older brother of my other cousin who died 6 years ago. They left behind both of their parents, a sister, another brother, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
I like having good morals, sweet endings, food for thought, but sometimes, life is just sad or hard or tragic. These bad things don’t happen because God doesn’t care, they happen because the world is a fallen, broken place.
There will be heartache until He returns.
And through it all, God is still good.
Also? If you know someone who is hurting and you want to reach out, don’t hesitate or even ask. Just jump in and do something. Maybe you have a lot of time, or maybe you can only spare a few minutes. Either is good and helpful. Here are a few ideas while things are fresh on my mind:
- Pray for the family who is hurting – not just silent prayers (although those are good too!), but also out loud so they can hear you.
- If there is a funeral, offer to help sort through photos. You can pull out pictures of the person who’s died so the family can just choose from those instead of having so many to go through.
- Take food – you can make or buy a simple meal, or even just deliver muffins or dessert. Anything in this department is helpful!
- Water plants for someone
- Write a nice note inside a card
- Deliver a thoughtful gift – a coffee mug, or flowers, or a care package. The item doesn’t matter as much as the thought behind it.
- Run errands for the person. Maybe they need someone to pick up groceries, or return library books, or go to the dry cleaners.
- Send a thoughtful text or email.
- Help someone clean their house, or just clean it for them.
- Work on kid laundry, and pack suitcases with the kids if traveling will be needed.
Maybe you’re not sure how to help – sometimes, listening closely to what someone says will give you clues. If the person starts verbally going through a to-do list, pay attention so you can jump in and offer to complete one of more of their tasks for them.
Also, be kind to yourself. There will be times you can’t do much at all, and there will be other times you can do a lot. Whether you can help a lot or just a little, every bit counts.
If you’re the one going through a difficult time right now, or the one needing to reach out, you might appreciate what I wrote on Instagram and Facebook the day after my cousin went into the hospital.
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 NKJV
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 ESV
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 ESV
How can I pray for you this week? Leave a comment and let me know!