January 4th: Give Comfort.

If you’re paying attention, you may have noticed that today was originally supposed to start a “Share a Meal With” series. That’s still happening, but I rearranged a little bit due to some life circumstances that made giving comfort especially relevant. I wrote this almost a month ago and had no way of knowing that doctors would be recommending that my step dad’s father discontinue dialysis. Now, with him having approximately 3 weeks to live, we wait by the phone for updates from my step dad’s brothers. As you think of it today, please keep my family in your prayers, while you complete the following challenge.

For those who don’t know me personally or don’t live near me, I’ve grown up in the town where To Write Love On Her Arms was founded. And if you don’t know what TWLOHA is, it’s a nonprofit that works to share hope with those who are suffering with depression or mental health issues. If you listen to what they have to say long enough, it is easy to share their simple message: “Hope is real. Help is real.”

Most of what they do is encourage people to seek help and speak up. We are all interconnected and no one should have to suffer alone. In Romans 8, Paul writes, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except to love one another.” So with that, today’s challenge is to be a listening ear. To open your eyes to suffering around you and to comfort those who may need to hear a kind word.

I’m reminded with today’s challenge of people who may not have been able to start the year off with loved ones or are looking at the end of their lives with sorrow. Be with them, pray with them, love them.

And if that’s you, please reach out to someone you know and trust. If you don’t have that person, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is by their phones 24/7 and they’ll listen to you if you need someone to talk to. Their number is: (800) 273-8255.

Recommended reading: Matthew 5:2-12

Good jam: “10,000 Reasons” By Rend Collective

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