I am not a teenager, but I am “grounded.” I am over 60 years of age and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s advised that I stay home. As the founder of Wisdom of the Wounded, I am in the business of caring for others. I’m wondering: how can one reach out and care for others while grounded?
At first, I was stumped because many of my caregiving activities have an in-person touch like delivering a cancer treatment basket or giving a hand massage to someone in a nursing home. But as I reflected on the unprecedented restrictions that are keeping so many people home, several ideas came to mind. With just a few minutes of reflection, I came up with SEVEN ideas! See what you think.
If you offer food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. ~Isaiah 58:10
- One of my church’s caregiving programs during this pandemic is to assign each consistory member (church leaders) a list of members who are over 60 years of age. They will call each person on their list and inquire if the individuals have any problems with which they need help. What a great, caring idea. Those of us over 60 could do the same thing: call and check on neighbors and family.
- Also, just because we’re over 60 doesn’t mean we can’t help! We all want to make a difference. Churches could enlist the help of people over the age of 60 to participate in prayer chains from home or to reach out and call others who are shut in.
- Life’s challenges don’t halt just because of a pandemic, so I’m focusing on, “Who do I know who needs some extra attention right now?” There are individuals suffering from other types of crisis: My cousin is grieving the death of her sister. My friend who had a stroke in July is still immobile and can only speak a few quiet words. My sister-in-law is alone with a variety of physical conditions. I can focus, during my “grounded” time, on contacting hurting individuals with cards, phone calls and emails.
- I could send some of them gift cards to restaurants that deliver meals. Via online ordering, I could surprise them with flowers, a book I enjoyed, a small gift, a puzzle or item pertaining to their hobby.
- I could make a kettle of soup or bake some cookies and store them in the freezer for a future need when a neighbor, church friend or family member is experiencing a difficult time.
- I have ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. I could write a letter to each one, telling them what special qualities I see in them and perhaps recalling a fun, special memory. I also have pictures of each of them when they were young; it would be fun to send one or two pictures with the letter. (AND won’t they be surprised to get an actual stamped envelope from that “box on a pole”!!)
- Our church’s Pastor Beth Carroll suggested: “If you are looking for something meaningful to do in this season of slowing down, taking a Psalm and personalizing it. . . can be a great spiritual practice.” The thinking and wondering involved in this exercise would be good for my brain and for my spiritual life. Then I could also send my personalized interpretation to someone who is struggling and wondering about faith and God and life.
So there you go: seven ways I can share and care—right from my own home. These are great ideas for people of any age. And since so many of us are currently “grounded” perhaps you will join me in reaching out?
One final thought: being “grounded” is difficult. So if you are feeling gloomy, depressed or stressed—it is helpful to remember the advice from the prophet Isaiah: “If you offer food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10
Want more ideas on how to Care Well for others during social distancing? Download our tip sheet: COVID-19: What Can I Do to Help?