Guest post from Sarah of SarahBeckman.org
She wasn’t someone I had met personally, but we were down-the-street neighbors. In fact, until her diagnosis, I hadn’t ever spoken to her. But once I heard the news, she captured a place in my heart.
It seems these days, everyone knows someone with cancer.
I was not able to help her as often as I would have liked, but I tried to find small ways to bless her—a meal here and there, or a text of encouragement before or after treatments. And I believe the Biblical command to “love our neighbor as ourselves” carries even more weight when someone is facing a time of trial in their life.
One day my new friend down the street came to mind while I was at the grocery store, which was just down from Keva Juice, a frozen drink shop. I remembered another friend’s dependence on smoothies after she had endured chemotherapy and found it hard to eat or swallow. I knew her order by heart, and had often delivered it to her at home or the hospital.
So I texted my neighbor, and offered to bring her something from Keva Juice. At first she was reluctant. She said she didn’t want me to make a special trip and had no idea what she’d want. I said, “I’m here anyway. I will text you a link to their menu, and you can choose what you’d like. Text me your order and I’ll deliver it on my way home.”
She found an option on the menu, and within 10 minutes I was at her door with a cup full of hope that cost me less than five dollars.
People who are facing crisis of health or life don’t want to be a bother. And often, grand gestures are difficult to receive. (Really, most things are hard to receive; after all, we’re women!) But with intentionality, a small expense and just a dash of time, it’s easier than you think to bless someone in need.
Here are 10 ways you can bless someone without breaking the bank:
1. Post a message on a support site. (Caring Bridge or other)
2. Text a scripture verse once a week. (I love Romans 15:13)
3. Offer to drive kids to sports or activities.
4. Order their favorite candy or guilty pleasure to be sent from Amazon.
5. Post a funny video to their social media site, or email.
6. Deliver a fresh plant or flowers. (Trader Joe’s has gorgeous flowers for less than $5!)
7. Call and pray over the phone.
8. Stop by the hospital and do a makeup refresh or deliver a new lip moisturizer.
9. Order a pizza to be sent to the house.
10. Send a card in the mail. (Yes, good old-fashioned handwritten mail with a stamp!)
You don’t have to break the bank to offer a small blessing in the midst of a friend’s dark days.
Whatever the trial, our job is to shine a light in their darkest spaces, even if that little sliver of sunshine comes in a Styrofoam cup with a straw.
Sarah Beckman is an author and speaker. Her book, Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, released February 14, 2017. In it you’ll find more practical ways to support those you care about in the rough patches of life and the inspiration to follow through.