When you’re afraid to be a helper

You’ve most likely heard of the quote from Mr. Rogers about what to do in times of trouble. “Look for the helpers,” his mother told him. At a time of global pandemic and the accompanying uncertainty and fear, our world needs so much, yet I am afraid to be a helper.

There is a call for food pantry volunteers, for people to deliver groceries to those who can’t go out, for child care for the children of essential workers. But what if you are afraid to be a helper? Afraid to put yourself or your family at risk of getting sick by leaving your bubble and getting to the business of helping? That’s been my internal struggle. I want to help. I ask what would Jesus do and I know before I get the question out of my mouth that he would care for the sick, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless.

Does my fear make me a bad person? No. Does it mean that I have too little faith? Maybe. God and I are having conversations about that.

And while I sit with my fear vs. faith struggle, I seek small ways that I can help from where I am.

  • I can call to check in on friends or family, particularly those who are isolated without family.
  • I can send cards to nursing homes, addressed to my own loved ones or simply to “resident,” so someone who needs some cheer can receive it.
  • I can pray. Today I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet (it’s a Catholic thing) as a means to spiritually adopt someone with Coronavirus who is dying alone.
  • I can volunteer to do telephone reassurance calls with a local charity.
  • I can participate in neighborhood efforts to put hearts or smiley faces on my door so children can count them as the family goes on a walk.
  • I can donated to funds designed to support service workers who have been laid off.
  • I can support small business by placing carry-out or delivery orders or buying gift cards for future use.
  • I can donate food to those food pantries. I can share toilet paper or paper towels or canned goods with someone who needs it.
  • I can be real and honest in my posts on social media, letting down the facade of “she’s got it all together” and saying “I’m scared and frustrated, too.”
  • I can be kind.

I’m going to keep thinking and praying about how I can be a helper, doing some small part each day. Maybe I’ll get to a point where I can step up and do something that scares me, but until then I’ll do what I can to make the world a little less scary for others.

No photo description available.

Photo Credit: Ispirivity

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