Colleen Swindoll Thompson
few of us know how to walk with others through the valley of the
shadow of death.…
Since most words, advice, opinions, and fear-driven behaviors
offer little help, let's begin to practice what does help.…I pray
the following tools help you help others.
Tangible Tips for Helping People Survive Suffering:
you have suffered additional pain and been wounded by those who
didn't understand, I am so very sorry; I understand. Let's call upon
the One who understands the most – Jesus Christ.
- Pain is not about you. You can't fix or change what God has
allowed, so just be present.
- Provide a meal in containers that are disposable or don't
need to be returned.
- Don't expect recognition or a "thank you" for your comfort.
Give without expectation.
- Offer to help with daily tasks. Fill the car with gas, wash
or fold laundry, mow the lawn, clean the house, help get kids to
and from school, or pick up groceries.
- Don't judge when the person is questioning their faith,
doubting God, or when he or she has emotional outbursts.
- If there's a diagnosis, learn all you can about the
illness/disability/diagnosis so you are equipped to help.
- If possible, pull a group together to help pay for a
house cleaner or service provider.
- Watch funny videos together; laughter is healing.
- Join the person on a walk or get outside in God's
- Pay for the person to get a massage, get their hair
done, or get a manicure or pedicure.
- Make an "I care" basket. Fill a basket (or other
container) with restaurant coupons, a journal, flowers, a
blanket, CDs, movies, or a few of the person's favorite things:
food, drinks, candles, oils and bath goodies, cozy slippers,
- Don't put a "timeline" on the person's healing.
Practice reflective listening.
- Put something on the calendar; planning an event helps
the person look forward to something.
- Without interrupting, listen to what they share:
memories, sorrows, wishes, or lost dreams.
- Send a text message saying you are thinking about
- Watch for signs of clinical depression, anxiety, or
trauma that may go unnoticed.
- Attend doctor appointments, school meetings, or
therapy sessions with the person.
- Keep a list of doctors/therapists/emergency phone
numbers in a visible place for the person.
- Offer to pick up and organize the medications.
- Help put medical records together in a notebook.
In what way can you show the kind of care Jesus offers as you
step into another person's life in the weeks, months, or years
Additionally, what has helped you through difficult seasons in