Troubles seem to plague our lives when we least expect them, and we’re thankful for those who help us through the rough times. But when our friends are on the receiving end of difficult times, what can we do that will make a difference?

Here’s a short list of things that help.

  • Pray. For wisdom, strength, healing, financial blessing, peace, comfort, and deeper faith. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
  • Call and let them know you care, even if you have to leave a message. Overcome the isolation tendency.
  • Listen. Let them vent their frustrations and fears and withhold judgment about their raw emotions.
  • Ask what they need most. And if they don’t tell you anything, read between the lines and imagine yourself in their shoes. What would lift your burden even a little bit? Even little things show you care.
  • Do something practical. Wash the dishes or pick up around the house. Run to the grocery store or drugstore. Add their kids to your carpool routine. Stay with a sick or injured family member so the primary caregiver can take a break, get their hair done, visit the library, or go to a movie. Bring a meal (or even a gift card for fast food or pizza delivery). Stop by www.takethemameal.com and create a central place for others to sign up to bring meals. Or even create a similar schedule for housecleaning or respite care.
  • Follow up. Needs linger longer than the help lasts. Jot a note on your calendar to call or drop by further down the road.

“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” ~Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

True friends offer quality care when it is needed most.

What about you? What suggestions would you add to my list? What things have made the most impact on your own life?

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