“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:12-13, NIV
Cynthia’s son was just four when he was diagnosed with cancer. Overnight, Cynthia’s world changed. She spent her time taking him to the doctor, fighting the insurance company, and comforting her child.
While she cared for her son, her next-door neighbor, Jackie, helped out. She took the family meals, cleaned their home, and babysat Cynthia’s other children. When the family van broke down, Jackie loaned out her car without a second thought.
Now, Cynthia’s son is in remission. He’s a happy sixth grader who loves soccer. “When I think back to that time, I always remember Jackie. She was a true disciple. The moment I brought a need to her, she found a way to meet it.”
When a friend’s child is in the hospital, it can be hard to know what to do. You want to help, but you don’t want to add to the burden of stress the family’s already dealing with. Here are a few ideas of what you can do:
- Check-in regularly. Knowing that someone cares is priceless.
- Track important dates. If the child has an upcoming medical procedure, mark your calendar, so you know when to show up.
- Listen when they need support. Some parents may need to vent or cry. Reassure them that you’re there and you care.
- Look out for the other kids. Young children may not understand why their brother or sister is getting all the attention. Even something simple like a stuffed animal or special dessert can comfort a scared sibling.
God, when I see a family in need, give me the wisdom to know what to say and the courage to take action. In Jesus’ name, Amen.