God Sends His Angels; Be One
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. —Proverbs 12:25 ESV
BY R.L. WITTER
There have been several high-profile suicides in the news recently. Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst; Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward; and Ian Alexander Jr., son of actress, producer, and director Regina King have all taken their own lives in the past few weeks.
As we approach the two-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, too many people are reaching their breaking point. Isolation, job loss, financial stress, and loss of loved ones is weighing heavily on their hearts and loneliness simply doesn’t help. As someone who lives thousands of miles from any blood relatives and many long-time friends, I can attest to the importance of actual human contact. Sending a “How are you?” text or email is quick and convenient, but an actual phone call is likely more beneficial. The recipient can hear the care in the caller’s voice and the caller can possibly hear any anxiety, depression, or despair in the recipient’s voice.
Despite successfully avoiding COVID thus far, my husband was ill recently and his ongoing recovery has been long and difficult; Hubby was hospitalized for just over one month. I spent 6–10 hours daily at his bedside, advocating for the care he required to make a full recovery. I’d return home after 9 o’clock nightly to my one, daily meal: a bowl of cereal. When the cereal ran out, I was too tired to shop, so I ate crackers, peanut butter, and made smoothies from frozen fruit.
It became easy to miss text messages and emails because I was so overwhelmed, I often didn’t have time to check for them. Then, it became a choice. It was easier not to respond because I simply didn’t want to discuss the situation. My only interactions were with Hubby and the various medical professionals and insurance representatives working with us. Exhausted, I let the housekeeping slip a bit, then my hair looked a bit wilder than usual, and my clothes were definitely wrinkled and mismatched. The only constants in my life were prayer and my love for The Lord.
To my surprise, one of Hubby’s best friends was waiting for me at the hospital entrance as I left one day. “Tomorrow I’m going to sit with him until 3 o’clock and then you can come,” he said. “That way, you’ll have time to work, sleep, shop, or just do whatever you need to do.” I was flabbergasted. Every day after that, the friend “took the day shift.” I worked until three then headed to the hospital until they kicked me out at nine.
Hubby was finally discharged on a Friday afternoon. I was cooking, cleaning, bathing him, paying medical bills, coordinating home nurse visits three times weekly, surgeon appointments once weekly, physical therapists coming and going, keeping food and supplies stocked, and trying to remain employed. I found anxiety and depression quickly approaching. The friend and his wife appeared at our door regularly to offer help or a shoulder to cry on—whichever I needed most at the moment. Often, we didn’t even speak. Just knowing someone cared enough to check on us and offer comfort and assistance was enough to keep me going. It turned out Hubby wasn’t the only one who needed help to begin healing. I am blessed to say four months later they are still coming by regularly.
Check on your friends and loved ones. Remind them you care and they are important. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” —Romans 12:15 ESV