Is it just me, or did this whole COVID-19 crisis just blow up overnight? One minute I was supposed to be preparing for insolation, and 20 seconds later I was told to hunker down in my house before I even had time to figure out what I was supposed to do to prepare. Personally, I’m the kind of person who just can’t quite figure out how to put a grocery list together for a week’s worth of groceries. How was I supposed to dream up a list for enough supplies to last me for 14 days? By the time I put together a list of groceries that might be helpful, the store was out of the items I wanted. It’s just a good thing we have PLENTY of leftover cake from my husband’s retirement party. If two people can live on cake alone, we’re good for at least a month or two.
Since preparation time is over, I’ve moved on to thinking up ways I can minister to other people during this time. I’ve found that focusing on helping others keeps me from focusing on myself and my petty little problems. And really, this is the time when Christians have the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus into the world.
A few of these ideas are my own; most of them I’ve gleaned from other sources:
- Text (or call) a few friends every day to check on how they are doing.
- Send a card to someone who might need some encouragement. I mean, deep down, who doesn’t love to open their mailbox and find something other than bills? I know I do (in case you’re trying to come up with someone).
- Post an encouraging message on social media. I know there are some people who don’t think we should post funny things about our confinement; but seriously, that is one of the things that is getting me through right now. Jesus and laughter.
- Make masks to give to area hospitals. Here’s a link for more information on how to make them.
- Share your toilet paper with someone who needs it.
- If you’ve got the groceries (or can get them) prepare a few freezer meals to have ready for an overwhelmed neighbor or friend.
- Donate food to your local food shelf. There will be a greater need as more and more people are out of work.
- If you know of a friend who is out of work, and if you can afford to help, order groceries to drop off at their doorstep.
- Check in on your neighbor. I’ve already had a few neighbors check in with me, and one, who stepped outside her door with her daughter to waved when she saw me sitting on the couch near the window. It made my day!
- Again, if you can afford it, purchase gift cards from area restaurants and/or small businesses, especially the ones that are closed. It will give them an immediate infusion of cash to help them survive until they are allowed to reopen. You can then give the cards away or use them yourself.
- Send a care package to the young children in your life (or to children of single parents). I ordered some craft projects from Amazon and had them sent directly to my grandkids, who are going a little stir crazy. They were so excited when the package came in the mail. And their mom was pretty happy, too.
- Make an extra effort to check in with widows, single moms, and other friends who are living alone. Isolation gets old.
- Offer to pick up groceries for your elderly neighbors. I’m currently not going into grocery stores but instead ordering online and picking them up. You can do the same for your neighbor or friends.
- Pray for people who are at risk. Sure, there are people at a higher risk of getting the coronavirus, but there are also kids who are now stuck in homes that aren’t always safe, with parents whose stress levels are greatly increased (it’s not a good combination). There are also women (and probably men) who have abusive spouses and are now stuck together and stressed 24 hours a day. Pray for the safety of these people. Never underestimate the power of your prayers!
- Hang a little surprise gift on your neighbor’s door along with a note of encouragement.
I’m sure there are a million more things you could do. Please share some of your ideas in the comment section so we can all use them.
Please stay safe and remember, things WILL go back to normal!
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25 NIV
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.