Share this page:
- Allow yourself to be open and vulnerable. People who suffer live with difficult questions. It is good to discuss them.
- Simple presence is the most important part of a visit. Free yourself from unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.
- Be gracious in giving or receiving a visit. Suspend judgment.
- Ask about the sufferer’s day: What was significant? Just because he is in bed does not mean his day has been empty.
- Refrain from assumptions of what the sufferer can or cannot do. Allow her to make those decisions.
- Pay attention to the experience of family members.
- Refrain from “fix-it” advice unless asked.
- Understand that individuals who walk the road of suffering can be a treasure in the church. They may have wisdom to share because they have time for questions of faith and life in unique ways.
- Remember that worth is not tied to what we do, but who we are.
- Visits are two-way. Who gives and who receives is flexible.
- Hearing what is happening in the lives of others is important. Sometimes visitor are afraid to share personal good news, but good news is life-giving.
- Challenge yourself to celebrate the good moments in another’s life.
See also: One family’s journey with chronic pain in “Where is God?”