Saturday, August 18, 2012

How to Bless Your Chronically Ill Friend

About two months ago a friend asked me, "What are some ways people can help you as you deal with this illness?" At the moment, I honestly don't remember what I said. I think I mumbled something about be willing to listen, to really listen. A few weeks later while I was chatting online with the same friend, he called me and let me talk his ear off and cry about something that was really important to me. He asked how he could help, and then he put it into action. That was a huge blessing to me.

Here are ten (much more thought-out) answers to the question, "How can you bless or encourage your chronically ill friend?" Thank you for all of you who have done these things for me.

1.) If you ask how their day is, be prepared for a barrage of tears or a deep sigh instead of the standard lie.
2.) Focus more on heaven as a final means of restoration than a vague hope of earthly healing.
3.) After asking how you can pray for your friend, don't just tell them you will pray with them; pray with them right on the spot.
4.) Be quiet and courteous.
5.) Plan events you know your friend will enjoy with small groups of close friends.
6.) Call. Write. Skype. E-mail. Establish contact somehow in a way that is convenient for your friend as a simple way of saying, "I love you, I was thinking about you, and I am wondering - how can I encourage you today?" It doesn't have to be fancy, and it probably shouldn't be long.
7.) If appropriate, send a small gift in the mail.
8.) Selectively pass on resources you find as an encouragement: pamphlets, articles, websites, songs, etc.
9.) If God has blessed you with discretionary funds, see if you can somehow use that toward a small or great need in your friend's life. I've been blessed in this way many times; it's an incredible feeling - both for the giver, and the receiver.
10.) Compliment physical appearance when appropriate. I don't often feel particularly attractive, let alone presentable... but its so nice when someone looks at me and says, "You look beautiful today," and I can tell they really mean it. 

Also, Rest Ministries has a great list that is quite a bit longer than mine with 52 ways to encourage a chronically ill friend. Check it out


  1. (Grin) I thought you would like to know that when I looked up "The LOve of my redeemer..." on Google... your blog came up. Attagirl!

  2. A lot of people find my blog that way! I think it's pretty cool! :)

  3. This is great Camille. So practical. How may I contact you to speak about the possibility of reprinting this post in the magazine I edit?

    1. You may e-mail me at :)


Disclaimer: If you have a health resource you can't resist sharing, I would love to hear about it if you feel it will be truly helpful. I am already doing my best to fight this illness from a nutritional, structural, as well as medical stand-point. Please avoid comments with "miracle cure" stories about your Aunt Milly's granddaughter who drank coltsfoot tea for a week and has been fine ever since. I'm very thankful it worked for her in her case, but there are so many environmental, emotional, and other factors that make CFS/ME complicated and different from just an average illness. That being said, please leave thoughtful and uplifting comments below.