Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration,
encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.
And the God of love and peace will be with you.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
When Jackie was a teenager, her youngest brother was diagnosed with a muscle disease. She spent a lot of her time, in the waiting room at a local hospital and doctor’s office, entertaining her other siblings.
“I was the oldest, and I was just trying to keep the stress off my mama. When kids get bored, they do stupid stuff and stress you out.”
So, Jackie created activity bags for her siblings. “I just put basic things they’d need to stay busy for a couple of hours. One bag had coloring sheets, crayons, stickers, and pipe cleaners. They loved it.”
One week when her brother was undergoing medical testing, Jackie noticed another family with small kids. Gathering her courage, she asked the mother if she could share the activity bag with her kids.
The mother quickly said yes and thanked her repeatedly for keeping her children entertained so she could handle a few phone calls. “She looked really frazzled and like she needed somebody to notice her. I’m glad I was there.”
After that, Jackie made sure to bring extra activity bags with her to each appointment. If there were other children in the waiting room, Jackie would give them a bag, too. “If a loved one is in the hospital, you’re already having a tough time. But maybe a simple gift can bring a bit of sunshine back into your day.”
God, I want to be a ray of sunshine. Help me to encourage others and remind them that they’re not alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.