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We live in a small town-less than 300 people. So, of course people know each other’s business, for better or worse. I try very hard to not repeat the things I hear, unless it’s purely factual-Mr. Smith bought a new tractor, Melissa Reeves had her baby, The Russell family put their house up for sale, etc. So when my husband came home one evening and said he’d heard Lisa’s husband had left her, I was heartbroken and not sure what to do without being nosey.

Lisa and I are “texting friends”. We have never been out socially but have talked about getting together soon. My husband and I had her and her husband on our list of couples we wanted to invite over and get to know better. She and I texted periodically, but I admit I had not reached out to her in probably a month. I wanted to let her know I was praying for her, but I didn’t want her to think I was being nosey.

I texted Lisa and asked, “I know I haven’t talked to you in awhile and I’m sorry for that. I was just thinking about you the other day and wanted to let you know that. How are you?” I thought this was a good opening-if Lisa didn’t want to talk about her life, then she didn’t have to. Nearly a week passed before I heard back from her.

She replied, “That’s okay and I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. My life is kind of a dumpster fire right now LOL. I’ve been trying to handle a lot and it’s just made my life kind of busier than usual.” Kind of specific but also very vague. So I replied, “I’m so sorry to hear that. I don’t know who came up with the dumpster fire analogy but it really does seem to fit certain situations, doesn’t it? I’m sure you’ve got friends to lean on-and I know we’re not that close. But I will be praying for you and if there’s anything I can do please let me know.”

Lisa replied that her husband is having a midlife crisis and has left the state to stay with a woman he met less than a month ago. She and her child are staying with a friend and she's in the process of putting her house on the market. We texted a bit more and I made a mental note to check up on her again in a week. But it got me to thinking.

How many other people around me are living a dumpster fire life right now? How many other people are hurting? Just because people don’t post it on social media doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I think we can all agree on many things we know we don’t want to say or do to those people. So what should we do?

1-Don't say “call/text me if you want to talk”

Reach out and say, “Is it okay if I text or call you once a week and check on you?” Then do it!

2-Don’t say “let me know if there’s anything you need.”

Instead, bring your friend a care package. Women enjoy tea or coffee, chocolate, a good book, some fuzzy socks, or a nice candle. Men enjoy most of those things too-just try to tailor it to their taste. Put it all in a nice bag or basket and drop it by your friend’s home.

3-Text a Bible verse and say, “I’m praying for you.”

4-Set aside time every day to pray for your friend

Then text and say, “I want you to know I just prayed for you.” Nothing makes a person feel more special than to know someone has just prayed for them.

5-Call your friend-yes call, don’t text!

Say, “Hey! I was thinking about going to see this movie/play/concert/etc. and I thought you might want to come with. Want to join me?” Even if your friend isn’t ready to go out yet, knowing that you care enough to call and extend an invitation is an emotional boost.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this post-I’d love to hear about it