Visiting the sick was a lot easier before I was a mom. Although ironically, when I became a mom, I had to visit my child at the hospital every day. While most newborns are home with their parents less than a week after birth, our baby didn’t leave the hospital until he was 6 weeks old.
Getting there as early as I could and staying until late in the evening, and eventually sleeping there every night was how we spent our first weeks together as mother and child.
I asked the doctors every day, “When can we take him home?”
Visiting the sick can be challenging. Finding the time to give in our very busy lives, taking into account when the sick person desires a visitor, and the health of ourselves and our young sidekicks that may be joining us on our visit are all factors that must be taken into account.
But when we visit the sick, we give our most precious commodity – our time.
That is LOVE. Dropping all our routines, everything on the perpetual “to do” list, and giving our time, our presence and our attention is love in a very true and real form.
Love is not easy sometimes, is it?
When I reflect on this work of mercy, I don’t like what I see in myself. I realize that I am selfish when it comes to “my” time. How lucky am I to be healthy? How lucky am I to have time to do anything I do each and every day? Reflecting on this I realize that this is something I need to work on – I need to be more generous and giving with “my” time.
My Grandmother has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and I really need to visit her more. I love visiting her and I know she enjoys the visit too.
But what about the friend who is getting cancer treatments? There are days when they are not “up” for visitors. Send a text or give a call and ask, “Are you up for a visit?”. If they are not, send them a card. My good friend Traci who beat breast cancer said she really appreciated the friend that sent her cards (and my random visits).
Do you know a sick person that could use a visitor? Will you join me and sacrifice some time this week to reach out to the sick and offer a visit?
Have you been sick and appreciated visitors? What advice would you give?
Trina O'Boyle says
I’ve had friends and family members with cancer and have spent many days helping in one way or another. I also volunteered for hospice when I was younger so I saw first hand how much visitors mean to someone that is sick or even dying. Even if you are only able to stay for 10 minutes, it could mean the world to them.
Love this comment Trina, it truly touched my heart – especially when you said “Even if you can just stay for 10 minutes, it could mean the world to them.”
This is a great post! I love the idea that our time is a gift and I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately how to be more mindful of being a steward of my time. I love the idea of taking the time to do this norm of mercy.
Thanks Liz! I think it helps me to hear that time doesn’t have to be hours – it could just be 10 minutes!