“I was sick, and ye visited me.”
After being sick this week, it occurred to me today how lonely that can get. You’re left alone with your misery, no one to distract you or make you laugh. Sick days from work aren’t all they’re cracked up to be because—you know—you’re sick and you’re bored. Sure you can binge-watch Netflix, but that’s strangely unenjoyable when you don’t feel well. The people you socialize with at work or school, those moments of talking about everything and anything that you take for granted, are suddenly not their to act as your pressure-release valve.
The more I think about this scripture, the more I think it has more to do with lifting another person’s spirits than it actually has to do with making them feel physically better. Unless you’re a doctor, visiting the sick isn’t going to do their ailment much good (unless you believe the spirit and body are connected, and improving one can improve the other, which I agree with). But just being with them, letting them know they’re loved, can be immeasurably better in the long run.
In Bonnie H. Cordon’s talk “Trust in the Lord and lean not,” she describes how a woman going through cancer treatments serves others, which gives her the strength to persevere. That’s taking it a step further: the sick visiting the sick.
How can you visit the sick?
- Visit the elderly or infirm (regardless of whether you’re related).
- Donate flowers or toys to a children’s hospital.
- Donate blood or plasma. There’s always a need. I should know; I get regular calls asking for donations. Unfortunately, you can’t physically donate whole blood that often (once every 16 weeks).
- Talk to someone who has a mental illness such as depression. Reaching out to them can change everything. Speaking from experience, sometimes they just need to know that somebody out there is thinking of them and cares.
Wherever you are, find a person that’s sick, whether in body or spirit, and help them through.