I've thought a lot about that in the last few days. I wondered how many times I might have asked that question, "what can I do?" to someone who needed help, but they didn't know exactly how to express their needs. so they didn't, though there might have been many. I hope in the future instead of saying, "what can I do?" I will say, "let me come pick up a couple of loads of laundry," or "how about I pick up your kids from school, take them to my house for a couple of hours." There are so many needs. Ask for a grocery list and make a run. It doesn't have to be a long list, maybe just milk and bread. Or maybe that sick person would love a frappuccino from McDonald's or better yet, Starbucks. Offer to vacuum their floors, change the sheets on their bed, load the dishwasher, take them to a doctor's appointment and the list can go on and on.
As caregivers to our daughter Amy, and her family, I can tell you any little thing is appreciated. We've had four meals provided in the two months we've been here. They didn't ask what they could do, they just provided. Two times we've had people take the boys for a few hours. It was good for the boys and good for us. We've had someone willing to come to the house and stay for a couple of hours to assist my mother-in-law as she takes care of Amy while Howard and I rushed to the grocery store for a weeks supply. And then there are those that say, "let me know if you need anything." And that has led me to this article, because I don't know what to say, or what to ask for. Can you bring us a meal? Can you take the boys to your house to play for a while? Can you come and stay with Amy while we run errands? You see, I don't know what they really want to do. What if I ask them one of those questions and they really deep down don't want to, but don't know how to graciously say no. So, from now on I will be specific when I ask someone if they need help. I will make suggestions about what I am willing to do. And maybe we need a new sign up site, an I Am Willing To Do This.com site.
I am a mentor to the MOPS group at The Heights Baptist Church and we are constantly in the midst of providing meals to new moms. What a blessing. A hot meal provided by loving hands. The hands of Jesus! The next time that sign up sheet appears in your email, type your name in and bless someone. Then call and see what other need you can provide. Be an intentional servant.