“ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9*
This past weekend I was able to visit a mother and her premature baby at the hospital. This precious little girl was born three months early and came into this world at a hefty one and a half pound. When I saw her this weekend she was five pounds twelve ounces and on her way to leaving the hospital and going home over the next couple of weeks.
God is good.
It is incredible what modern medicine can do for babies born prematurely. I walked into the NICU and was in awe of the tiny infants working overtime to grow bigger and stronger with the assistance of machines, nurses, doctors, and parents. It was controlled chaos and everyone knew how they fit into this complicated puzzle of sustaining, nurturing, and growing this tiny miracle. I witnessed their passion to embrace and provide in order to save these beautiful little babies in need.
Through my grief journey, I have also found a desire to help others in need. What started out as a grief facilitator at my church has opened the door to other opportunities in the church and in my community. We live in a world full of pain, grief, sickness, fear, and death. My own grief has opened my eyes to show me how God has gifted me with compassion, love, and comfort for others who are less fortunate.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines compassion as the “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”**. I bet the majority of people feel this way but may not know how to act on it. I have listed a few suggestions for someone who knows they want to assist others and make a difference:
- Select a group which feels comfortable. Do you like to work with animals, the elderly, the homeless, or children? Who do you connect with?
- What is your passion? Talking with people, physical labor, teaching, reading, writing, organizing, praying?
- Decide on how you can assist. Is it by giving your time, money, donations, creative efforts, prayers? What amount is appropriate for you? (How much time, money, donations, etc.)
- Would you prefer to volunteer with family, friends, or go solo?
- Check out opportunities through churches, hospitals, non-profits, shelters, schools.
- Ask family and friends if they are involved in volunteer work.
- Commit and follow through.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore and find a good fit. Reflecting on these suggestions has directed me to the right choices, and tapped into my compassion for helping others. I think one of the most important actions I can do for others is to pray. I have seen prayer change circumstances and lives in unexplainable ways which only God can control. He loves to see us lift each other up to Him in prayer because it shows we are focusing on others and not ourselves. For me, this was an important step in my grief journey. In the beginning, I needed to focus on me, my kids, and my well-being. One day, God showed me it was time to share my journey with others and here I am today, involved with some outstanding and compassionate organizations.
I believe my compassion has grown from my grief. I know how the pain hurts so deeply and wrecks you emotionally, mentally, and physically. I wish no one ever has to experience the misery, but it is the reality. I have lived through the torment and want to testify to others they too can move through the agony in their painful circumstances. My prayer is for you to find a volunteer opportunity which allows you to serve others and passionately demonstrate your God-given talents. Blessings!
A couple of the organizations my family volunteers with:
Ragan’s Hope http://www.raganshope.org/
Ronald McDonald House Charities https://www.rmhc.org/
Our Good Shepherd Ministries http://www.ourgoodshepherdministries.org/
*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society