I Don’t Have Time to Make a Casserole!
Five-Minute Ways to Serve a Friend in Need
by Lynn Bowen Walker
When one of my dearest friends had surgery not long ago, I was frustrated that I didn’t have time to bring over a home-cooked meal. The two of us had been pregnant together and had watched our children learn to swim and play hundreds of hours of soccer together. And I couldn’t bring over a meal?!?
Sad but true. Between all my duties and responsibilities, I had almost zero minutes left over for squeezing in one more commitment. It was the rare afternoon that I had time to make a decent dinner for my own family, much less one for a friend in need.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, wanting to strengthen relationships with neighbors, friends or extended family but not sure just how that extra time is supposed to magically materialize, take heart. Even with just a few minutes, you can show others that you care. Try one of the following suggestions for five-minute ways to serve a friend in need.
Don’t listen to that little voice insisting that your small offering is not enough. A mom of three, who has been in poor health for most of the last few years, says she is amazed at how much power there is in a phone call, a card or someone praying with her on the phone. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference.
- Keep a stack of postcards or small note cards on hand, stamped and ready as a quick note of encouragement when those five minutes present themselves.
- Give her a sincere compliment not just at the expected, but also at the unexpected. (“You had a great attitude even though you were in a hard situation.”)
- Order a pizza and have it delivered to her house. Make sure to let her know it’s coming.
- Leave a sticky note on your friend’s door if you don’t have time to come in for a visit. Or, if you know where she’s parked, slip a “Have a good day” note under her windshield wipers.
- Send her an e-card to celebrate an accomplishment — or just to wish her happy Monday.
- Send a gift card for coffee or ice cream through the mail.
- Send a prayer via email.
- Pray with her over the phone, thanking God for things you appreciate about her but don’t always tell her.
- If your friend has kids, bring over a DVD from your family’s library so her kids can watch — “a full-length feature, not just a half hour show!”
- Look through your cupboards for snack goodies you have on hand (unopened, of course). Tape notes to them with encouraging words before making a delivery to her doorstep.
Lynn Bowen Walker is the author of Queen of the Castle: 52 Weeks of Encouragement for the Uninspired, Domestically Challenged or Just Plain Tired Homemaker (Integrity, 2006).