Ten Things You Can Do for Shut-Ins and Other Ill Folks

Number 10 Downing Stret

10 Things You Can Do for Shut-Ins and Other Ill Folks

“Justin, if there’s anything we can ever do, please let us know.” I’ve heard that statement from many of my fellow Christians, and I’ve let good brethren know from time to time how they could help me: Getting Wil from band practice because I had an appointment with the psychologist, bringing me a prescription I really needed, going with me to a stressful appointment, bringing me a cup of coffee before Bible class, and even receiving financial help with medical bills. My brethren have been so very good to me. They nearly all want the answer to the question: “Justin, what can we do for you?”

Let me tell you some things that you can do for the disabled:


It’s only right that I mention prayer first – that is the best thing you can do for me. Prayer is so very powerful because, in prayer, we go before the Creator of all that is. He most certainly has the power to help.


I need someone whom I can call at 4:00 am because I can’t safely climb a ladder to change the batteries in the blaring smoke detector (we’ve all had the smoke detector that won’t stop in the middle of the night, right?). I need someone I can call and ask to cut my grass out of love with no expectation of payment (I can’t afford to pay all that much, if anything).

Be sincere

If you ask me if you can help, chances are I’m going to take you up on the offer. Please don’t become upset if you’ve offered to help and I ask for your help.

Be patient

I love the fact that you’re willing to help, but I may not know of anything at the moment. I’ll happily take you up on your offer of help; I may just not have a need when you offer – but, the moment I do, I’ll call you because you asked.


Man was never meant to live in isolation – that’s why God created Eve for Adam in the first place. Having mobility issues means that I’m not around people as much I would like, and a visit can boost my spirits greatly.


I have friends who are busy with kids and sports and aging parents and work, and I have friends who live a good distance from me. They’ll pick up the phone and call or text and lift my spirits tremendously. One day not long ago, two friends called; those calls help me feel concern, love, and appreciation – those calls made my day.

Send a card

I’m not good at writing cards, but I know that when I get a card my spirits are lifted. Today, we keep up with people by Facebook messages or texts or emails; that’s a quick and easy way to keep communication flowing. But, when someone takes the time to send me a handwritten note, I feel so very much appreciated.

Be there

I’ve already mentioned the benefit of visiting, but many people stay away from visiting because they don’t know what to say. You don’t need to say anything; just show up. I’m not going to remember what you said, but I will remember that you were there. Don’t worry about what to say; simply be there for me and let me know that you love me.

Offer rides

I see more doctors than I can remember, and if my wife isn’t going with me, it can get lonely seeing doctor after doctor and driving to office after office. Offer to drive and sit in the waiting room. Tammy goes with me to “big” appointments (those where we expect to get news or where I’m going to have a painful procedure – she’s promised to hold my hand during the Botox injections), but if she isn’t going, company would always be welcome and appreciated.

Let me talk

I have some friends whom I can call and bear my soul. Most days I don’t need to do that. I always try to look at things on the bright side of life, but there are days I just need to talk to someone. While writing this post, I’ve been emailing with a friend and making arrangements to get together very soon. Be a friend. Be someone I can call when I need your love.

Friend. That’s what I want. That’s what I need. Go be a friend. Let God walk with you as He has walked with me.

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