In Others’ Words: Being an “Appropriate” Friend

helping a friend 2015 With all due respect to Mr. Howe, I don’t think friends mean to annoy us when they ask, “Is there anything I can do?” when times are troublesome.

Most often, they are sincere in their desire to help.

But Mr. Howe is also right. It is often best to skip the asking and get right to the doing. Take a few minutes to think: If this were me, what would help me? It’s the whole “Do to others as you would have them do to you” principle. A truly Golden Rule worth following.

Last week was full of friends stepping up an doing for our family.

  • Setting up meals for our daughter and son-in-love, whose newest daughter, Coralea, spent several days in the NICU.
  • Holding an impromptu painting party at our house so that the bathroom and guest bedroom will be ready when my friend, Rachel, visits next week. Because, yes, the best-laid plans do go awry just when you least expect it — or need them to.
  • Coordinating blog posts for me — and yes, it may be part of someone’s job, but it’s still a ministry and still comes from the heart of a friend.
  • And prayer … the beauty of being wrapped in prayer, before, during, and after I’ve asked for it.


In Others’ Words: When has someone moved past asking and done just what you needed, when you needed it the most? And if you could share one “appropriate” thing for friends to do in a time of need, what would that be?

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  1. Susan
    April 6, 2015, 8:33 am   /  Reply

    I LOVE this quote, Beth. I’m not great at thinking of things and just doing them, I truly believe that’s a gift. Some people just SEE what needs to be done in others’ lives and do it. I’m more task orientated, but these past few months I’ve begun asking me to see NEEDS not just tasks. To help me find creative ways to fill them so that I don’t have to always ask first. So this quote jumped out at me:)

    • April 6, 2015, 11:55 am   /  Reply

      Sometimes I have to remind myself that something is better than nothing. Maybe I don’t have time to make a meal — but sending the delivery guy with fresh pizza is still a hot meal, right? 🙂

  2. April 6, 2015, 11:16 am   /  Reply

    I loved this post, Beth. Sometimes I ask what I can do because I’m not sure what to do. Your thought of thinking what I would want in my friend’s situation is spot on.

    For me, when I realized I had to have an emergency appendectomy last year, a friend of mine came over to stay with the boys until Wendel could get home. It was such a comfort to have my husband with me, and to know my boys were in good hands. She also picked them up after school so Hubby could stay with me until I was dismissed to come home. That was huge!

    I’m with Susan. I’m not that great at seeing needs. I need to pray more about how to do this better.

    • April 6, 2015, 11:56 am   /  Reply

      Unexpected emergencies throw us for a loop — like being evacuated because of a wildfire. And then a friend, who happens to be out of town on vacation, says, “Oh, you can stay at our house.” And it makes all the difference.

      I have a friend like that. Oh look — it’s you, Jeanne! 🙂

      • April 6, 2015, 12:11 pm   /  Reply

        You just made me smile and tear up at the same time. 🙂

  3. April 7, 2015, 8:48 pm   /  Reply

    I think we need to add like buttons to our blogs! I’d hit it on all of these. It is hard to know what to do sometimes. And sometimes we just need to be there.

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