My dad was sick a long time.
It was about 12 years and our church took great care of us. They watched my brothers and I when we were young and dad was in chemo. They brought dinners and desserts when mom was driving an hour and a half too and from the hospital every day.
And when dad was re-diagnosed after having been cancer free they were there for us again casserole in hand.
After dad passed we didn’t make a meal for weeks there was so much food. Even before when he was in the hospital for almost a month people brought us breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were loved in a way that I will never forget.
In all of that though there were times when dad was just sick. Times when it wasn’t new and it wasn’t the end and it was just our lives. Day after day dad would will himself up, to work and back home again. In those times I found myself feeling alone. The church was there but it was different. The situation became the new norm and everyone carried on their lives.
There was however one thing that stood out to me in those times in-between. A woman in the church came to my parents and said ‘Marion (my mom) I know you have school on Wednesday. I also know that Don, (my dad) you do your bible study on Wednesday nights so I can imaging it’s a very busy day. Why don’t I bring dinner every Wednesday?’
And she did, for a long time. Week after week and month after month we had food appear on Wednesdays.
I think at times it can be easy to ‘book end’ and experience with someone. To be there when it’s fresh and new and also to be there in the transition or the end. But our neighbours, our friends, our family live it day after day after day. It doesn’t grow stale to them. Often they are in situations where every day is a fight and every day is hard.
We need to come along side them in all times. Not just the new or the ending but in the grind through the middle. We need to be there the days they wake up and think ‘how much longer can this possible keep going?’ We need to show them we remember that life has changed for them and that we are there to be a part of that change.
It may no longer be trendy or the thing on your radar. It may be something that has been going on a long time. But think, if for you it seams long how does the person living it feel? How much do they need a friend to make this day in a long line of days that seams to have no end be different?