As the color of the leaves change and the temperatures cool down, signs of a new season are apparent. For many, their loved one is not by their side which can bring tenderness and pain to the holiday season. October, November and December can be difficult for grieving people. WidowLife would like to help you care for those who are suffering. Take time to consider one of the following gifts that will bring light to those who are hurting at this time of year.
“It only takes a little time to show how much you care. It only takes a little time to answer someone’s biggest prayer.”
L – Listen
The gift of your presence and a listening ear is comforting.
Dave Furman shares the experiences of a suffering friend: “I was sitting torn by grief. Someone came and talked to me of God’s dealings, of why it happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly, he said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he’d go away. He finally did. Another came and sat beside me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour or more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, left. I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.”
James 1:19 reminds us to be “quick to hear and slow to speak…”
I – Intercede
The gift of intentional, faithful prayer is life-changing.
God hears our prayers of intercession. There is power in lifting up the names of those who hurt to the One who can comfort in ways we never can. Prayer really makes a difference.
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you…” Colossians 1:9
G – Grace
The gift of extending compassionate grace to those who are suffering is healing.
- Give grace if your loved one responds out of character. It’s important to remember that this is a journey through pain, and grief impacts everyone in different ways.
- Give when they can’t give back – give them something to look forward to (solitude, rest, a clean home, provision, or pampering with a manicure or dropping off one of their favorite things)
- Genuine care – don’t make them a project or a good deed to check off, but instead love and care deeply in ways that are meaningful to them.
H – Help
The gift of practical help that lightens her load is encouraging.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good…” Galatians 6:9
Make it easy for them to accept your help. Instead of asking “What can I do to help?” rephrase your offer in the following way:
- Do you want me clean your bathrooms or grocery shop this week?
- Would you prefer help with home repairs this Saturday or the next?
T – Trust
The gift of joining them in trusting God and His promises is powerful.
It is important to speak words of blessing and life over their season of suffering: “Encourage one another and build up one another” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- Tell them you are sorry for the pain
- Tell them you are sad too and sorry they are walking through this valley.
- Tell them sweet memories of their loved one, mentioning them by name.