Shortly after my diving accident, once doctors had determined that I would never regain use of my hands or feet, the reality of quadriplegia began to sink in — for me and my family. For my dear parents, it meant spending days in the hospital as I underwent further testing, surgeries, and later physical therapy. But thankfully, they did not do it alone. The first week of my accident, the elders of our church organized a 24-hour prayer vigil, asking for God’s healing, peace, and hope for my family and me. But they didn’t stop there — church friends and neighbors rallied around us, providing practical help, too. Like help with groceries. I cannot tell you how grateful my mother was when people would stop by and ask if they could pick up something from the market for her — had they called and said, “Mrs. Eareckson, if there’s anything you ever need, feel free to give me a call,” my mother would have never picked up the phone. Being from German stock, she was timid about asking for help. So she loved it when people would be pro-active, even stopping by unannounced to drop off a tasty casserole or a homemade pie.
Our church community even helped by building a ramp to our front door and widening the bathroom doorway! It’s why when I remember our friends who helped during those early days, I often think of Matthew 25:36 where it says, “I was sick, and you cared for me.” These people cared. It goes to show that there are so many ways you can minister to a family affected by a disability.
So, friend, are you an avid baker? Then how about whipping up a batch of cookies for a special needs family (just remember to first ask about any allergies or dietary restrictions). Do you have a knack for interior design? Consider brightening up your friend’s hospital room with some décor, like a framed Bible verse or a colorful throw for their hospital bed. Whatever you’re gifting, don’t wait to be called upon. Pick up the phone, knock on the door, and roll up your sleeves. Not only will your act of kindness cheer up your friend with a disability, but it will also bless their family. And if you need more ideas on how to serve, we’d love to help. Check out our Help & Resources page or contact us for more ideas. God bless you for having a heart of service!