Five Ways to Care for Hurting People During the Holidays
To some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But to others it’s the most difficult: perhaps the holidays bring memories of a broken relationship or the death of a loved one. Perhaps they can’t buy gifts for their family – perhaps they have no family. Or perhaps their traditional family gatherings are always filled with stress.
Hurting so deeply is made even worse when everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves, surrounded by loved ones.
How can you help? Here are five ways to express God’s love to those in distress during the holidays.
1. Simply listen! Don’t try to fix things or give advice.
Listening is a gift! Often what people need most is to express what they’re feeling and why they hurting so much. Discipline yourself to simply listen. Give them time say what they need to say. Be attentive: nod your head, say “Hmmm!” Put what they say into your own words. As you listen with your heart, they will feel the love!
Don’t try to fix the situation: you can’t! But by simply listening, you can help them offload their toxic emotions.
2. Be there!
Being alone during the holiday season is the worst. Remembering those without loved ones and asking them out is huge! Meet for coffee, go shopping together, invite them over for dinner. Let them know you care.
3. Invite them to worship with you.
People can feel alone, even at church! Invite them to sit with you. Pray silently for them during the worship service, that they would sense presence of God and that the One who heals the broken-hearted would minister love, hope, and peace to them.
4. Text them often with words of encouragement.
When you don’t have time for a call, simply text them and let them know you are thinking of them. Send them a scripture, perhaps one with a beautiful picture. Once or twice a day is good
5. Perhaps invite them to celebrate Christmas or New Years Day with you.
Someone who has to spend the holidays alone would enjoy even a few hours with your family. Find a time that is appropriate and agreed upon with your own family members. Or check with single people at your church – perhaps there are other celebrations they could join.