Saturday, November 29, 2008
The hospital scene is never glamorous, but at Christmas time especially it is a place nobody wants to find themselves. The contrast between where you want to be and where you are has got to be starker at Christmas than any other time of the year. Because of this, I can't think of anything that would be better during this season than doing something for the families who are in this situation.
There isn't just one way to go about doing this, but I have been given several great possibilitis that I'll share. The one we have chosen to do with our family is to adopt a family from our local Children's hospital to visit and help throughout December. Many of the people who find themselves at St. Jude are very far from home, without the support of friends and family that is so valuable during difficult hospital stays. I cannot imagine the stress and loneliness that can build up for these families, and it is my hope that by baking some goodies, visiting the family, and bringing a few presents, we can at least show that family that they are loved and cared about, even though they are so far from home.
Another idea is to visit a waiting room at a local hospital, passing out Christmas packages to those who are there. Coloring books for kids, snack bags with cookies, granola bars, and drinks, and any other small thing that could help make a long stay in a waiting room a little bit more comfortable.
Something else might be to get involved with a Ronald McDonald house or a Target house or something similar and volunteer to cook dinner for the entire house one evening. What a blessing that would be to the families who find themselves living mostly off of fast food, hospital food, or anything else that doesn't quite measure up to a home cooked meal.
Finally, preparing gifts for the patients themselves, even if you can't personally see them, would be a fantastic way to help encourage and lift spirits. I believe many hospitals will be happy to pass out small gifts left at the front desk for the patients. I think an unexpected gift from a stranger could be God's way of letting some people know that they are not forgotten.
I don't know if this type of thing strikes a chord with any of you, but if it does, I hope you will look into calling a local hospital and asking what their needs are and how you can do something to minister and give back to those who are in a difficult place this season.
I am so excited that many of you expressed interest in the Christmas verse books, and I can't wait to hear stories from those of you who pass them out!