Anyone who has read my posts for any length of time knows that I heavily recommend taking action.  And, no, liking something on Facebook or forwarding a video doesn’t count.  Do something concrete. Be Christ’s hands on Earth.

But how do you know what to do? How do you know what someone truly needs?  First, you listen to the person you want to help as I recently learned.

One of our church friends is dealing with stage 4 bone cancer.  She’s doing okay. Yes, I know it seems like a contradiction but if you know her you understand. She tires easily and she doesn’t get around as well as she’d like but she’s hanging in there.

Our women’s group wanted someone to take her flowers or some other gift and I volunteered. I’d been meaning to go see her and this would get set me in action.  Still I wasn’t convinced flowers were a good idea.  “But everyone likes flowers!” one of the women crowed.  Um, well, I’m not entirely fond of them.  I like them outside but inside . . . not so much. They don’t last and that always brings me down.  Still, I went ahead and bought a bouquet, found a vase in a cabinet at home and went on my visit.

Sure, she thanked me for the flowers and had me put them in the kitchen. But it’s pretty obvious that she’s spending her days in the recliner in the living room. While we visited, she told me about how much she missed reading.  The cancer meds have goofed up her blood sugar and her diabetes and her vision is off.  So now she can’t read.

But she can listen.

For our next visit, I brought her to audio-two-go books from our library.  They come loaded into the player and my husband scrounged a set if head phones from here in the office.  So now she’s got a romance and a mystery to occupy her mind while she recovers from her treatments.

Flowers might work for a lot of people, but this time around they weren’t the best choice.  And learned that when I listened.