When we moved into our new home four years ago, the meal coordinator at my moms group asked if we wanted a few meals the weekend of the move, as we transitioned. We’d never needed meals before that, but I’d made a few for others. I decided to say yes. Amidst the towers of boxes and an unstacked refrigerator, we sat down to eat a cheesy pasta dish. Pasta never tasted so good.

I don’t need you to fix this, I just need you to care.

Other than praying for her by name when we received a health update on the church prayer chain, I didn’t know the woman. Still, as a leader in our church, I felt led to go visit her in the hospital. Hospitals are scary and smell funny. We only visited for about ten minutes, but her eyes lit up bright the whole time. I’ll never forget the yellowing color of her skin, weeks before she had a successful liver transplant. We celebrate her recovery every time we visit at church, and I remember the time I stopped by her hospital room.

I don’t need you to fix this, I just need you to care.

I learned a great tip from a friend of mine. When a person loses a loved one, we might send a card and attend the visitation or funeral. Life after that gets pretty quiet, though. Grieving is a lonely road. My friend marks important dates in her calendar, the deceased person’s birthday or the anniversary of the death. She sends a card at these times too. It does wonders to know someone else remembers.

I don’t need you to fix this, I just need you to care.

Some days, I take a minute or two and list out people I know who are struggling in a specific way. A friend who cannot have any more children, and she found out her sister is pregnant. A lady at church whose husband is fighting cancer, and I made note of when he had his last chemo treatment. A couple who likely won’t stay married without a miracle. A little girl who recently had her tonsils taken out. A family who has had their home listed for several months now. A family member who had a questionable spot on their chin removed. A widow who always goes home to an empty house. Whether it’s a quick text, a phone call or a private message on Facebook, I check in with them.

I don’t need you to fix this, I just need you to care.

Praying and caring aren’t always my first instinct. We live in a world where we want quick fixes. I want to do a Google search and find solutions! If I can’t be physically there helping, what good am I? Little things we might do seem insignificant. They aren’t. Be a prayer warrior. When we know others care, it lifts the burden. Hope is renewed. People are better equipped to do the task before them. Caring makes a huge difference.

 

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Traci Rhoades

Traci Rhoades is a writer and Bible teacher. She lives in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area with her family and an ever-changing number of pets. Connect with her online at tracesoffaith.com or @tracesoffaith on twitter. She is the author of "Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost."

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