From the Parish Nurse
Dear Church Family,
Romans 12:12-13 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
This sounds like good “how to” instructions for your typical Christian in how to interact with others. I’d like to focus in on the sharing with those in need part. We all have “gifts”, (things that we do well), that we can use to help others. Some people cook for others, some teach others a skill, some just listen and offer prayer or advice. Some people visit folks who are sick or shut-in. I’ve had some people tell me they would like to visit people in the nursing home or hospital, but feel awkward and nervous about doing it. I’d like to touch on some ideas you might consider.
First, if visiting someone who is sick, older, or has a compromised immune system, please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before you touch them and after you leave. If you are coughing and sneezing, reschedule, or if you have to see them, wear a mask. Next, turn OFF the cell phone. How would you feel if someone was visiting you and spent most of the time playing with their phone or talking with someone else on the phone? Would you really feel they cared? Spend most of your time listening. Take your cue from the person, if they would rather have you talk about yourself or what is happening at church, that’s fine. But the visit should be about them, how they are, what they need, how they could be helped, what good things have happened, what they like, etc. Don’t gossip, if the conversation steers that way, steer right back out. It will only get you in trouble. If someone takes you into their confidence, then don’t talk about it unless you’ve asked permission to share what you’ve been told with others. Don’t be judgmental, people have differing views on politics, life values, etc. You are not there to debate the world affairs, you are there to spread God’s love and let them know someone cares about them. If someone is going on about something to the point you really need to bite your tongue and feel you might bite it right off, change the topic or cut the visit short. “Oh heavens, look at the time, I’m late!!” usually will work to diffuse a conversation gone bad. Some people have dementia, they can be inappropriate at times. Don’t take it personally. They would probably be mortified with what was said if they were in their right mind. Above all, let the person know they are important and cared about. Everyone needs to know that someone cares.
God Bless, Beth