“Getting sick” is such a strange thing to say. We say it when we find ourselves with the sniffles, with the dreaded flu, or when something much more serious crosses our path. It’s kind of an interesting thing to ponder. I can’t speak for everyone of course… but I know that the less serious my condition, like the common cold, the bigger deal I make out of it. I find the obnoxious need to tell everyone that I talk to that I’m just not feeling well. And the more serious the condition, like when I was experiencing some heart issues earlier this summer, the less I wanted people to know. Whenever somebody asked me about it, or how I was feeling I would feel my whole body tense into a massive cringe. I just didn’t want to talk about it.
It's like we want to live on the edge a little, and a little cold gives us just the right amount of drama. But when we experience something that either does, or potentially could drastically alter our lives we can’t take it and long for the comfort of “normalcy” of pre diagnosis. I remember when my mom died, and I fell into a deep, dark depression. I cut everyone out of my life and even dreaded going to church because I didn’t want people coming up to me afterwards asking me how I was doing. I know they meant well, but their sympathy just reminded me that everything was not as it was before.
I’m pondering this because I was thinking about what to say when visiting the sick, as it is one of the corporal works of mercy. I struggle with this one because I never know what to say! I never know what to do, and I always feel so awkward! But there I go again overthinking it. I don’t know how long you have been following our blog here, but the second post I ever wrote was about “just being.”
To just be is the state we should be in when visiting the sick! Let the sick one lead. Maybe they want to talk about their illness, but maybe they don’t. Maybe they want to just small talk, then go ahead and talk about the weather. That may be their only experience of normalcy that day. Just be sure to keep it positive! Your smile can make a huge impact in their recovery.
Chances are, all of us have or will “get sick”. That means that we will also have the chance to care for and visit so many of our family members and friends. This might look like making them chicken noodle soup when they have the flu, eating popcorn and watching a favorite movie when they are struggling with depression, or holding their hand silently while they lay in a hospital bed. Just remember to be kind to them and respect them in a way that doesn’t make them feel ashamed or embarrassed. Jesus Christ is the Master Healer. As is the case with all of the works of mercy, praying for our dear ones is the most powerful thing we can do.
Until next time my dear friends- your sister in Christ,