Creative Caring

The complete 31 Days of Creative Caring series …
31-Day preview: Blue Umbrella and a Pie
Day 1: Doing the Awkward (Keep scrolling down to read the post)
Who cares? I want to. I really want to … and you probably do, too … but people seem to need to be cared for at the most awful times! Soundbites from every direction: Diagnosis, divorce, death … pain, prison, prescription … anger, abuse … awkward. So very awkward. It’s much easier to let Hallmark write a message so I can just sign my name and add a stamp.
Stop right there.

Before we can even think about creative caring, we’ve got to make a decision.
Each one of us … by ourselves.
Am I willing to do the awkward?

If we want to show people we truly care about them, creatively or otherwise, we have to be willing to put ourselves in situations that are awkward … because it’s in the middle of life’s most vulnerable times that people really need us. Sometimes they need nothing more than a phone call … or a hug … or a listening ear. They do not need us to fix anything. They do not even need our insight or opinion (unless they ask for it). They especially do not need to sit alone and wonder what people are saying …or if anyone cares.
Is it awkward walking into another person’s vulnerable time? You bet it is! But it’s not about us. It’s about the other person … the one who needs to know they’re not alone when the floor drops out from under them or the roof caves in on top. When their entire world changes in the space of a heartbeat and “numb” is the only thing they can feel.
So the next time you find yourself face-to-face with an awkward chance to show someone you care, just do it! Take a deep breath. Speak briefly … heart-to-heart.
Close your mouth.
Do the awkward. It may be all you need to do. It’s okay if you leave
and then shudder and cry from the stress. I’ve been there. I’ll go again.
Do the awkward. It’s a hard choice to make; a hard lesson to learn.
I’ve been blessed many times over because of it.
I’m linking to the 31-Day Challenge at The Nester.


  1. This is so true — and advice we all need to hear again and again. In my experience, the people are SO glad to have a sympathetic ear, a helping hand, and/or a loaf of pumpkin bread! And when my MIL was in hospice, we so appreciated those who visited us “just to chat.”

  2. What an inspiring and challenging topic you have chosen for ’31 Days’. You are the perfect person to talk about ‘Caring’. I have found that the ‘Awkardness’ is lessened with growing older and having more life experiences that help one relate to the person who needs as you say, a hug, a phone call, or a sympathetic ear.

    I’ve also taken the 31 Day Challenge and want to thank you for posting about it a few days ago. My Day#1 Post is about Sewing. I think you will enjoy it, and I have a gift for you there. I am posting your 31 Day Link on my Sidebar so I can come back for all your 31 Days of Creative Caring posts. See ya tomorrow…Sue

  3. I am an in-home caregiver for seniors and so I am really looking forward to your series! Great topic! 🙂 ~Frances

  4. I had not heard of the 31 Day Challenge, Susan. Maybe it’s because I’ve been hanging in some different places these days. 🙂 Was led to take a little detour to reach out.
    I will say that browsing the page where everyone signed up, I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with your choice. Again, you’re an amazing giver, my friend.
    Loved visiting.
    I need to keep up here more so I’m keeping an eye out for you on my sidebar. 😉
    Much love,

  5. “Doing the awkward”. Wow! That’s the most challenging of all, I think. Stepping outside my comfort zone to minister to another person at their point of need, to stop what I’m doing, and where I’m going, to get personally involved.. This is a real sacrifice, much more real to me than giving money or things. Thank you for challenging me with this. And thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your kind words behind. I went to the link you gave: Hope Unlimited for Children. and felt encouraged by their ministry. I also appreciated the message on the President’s blog today. I hope you will have a blessed Christmas, Susan. ~ Nancy

    • I hear you, Nancy! Getting personally involved is the biggest step of obedience I’ve ever had to take — and the biggest blessing. I’m still being challenged to step out of my comfort zone — and learning to trust. I’m glad you had a chance to look at the Hope Unlimited website and read the President’s blog. (He’s my husband, by the way.) 🙂 His new book Dirty Faith: Bringing the Love of Christ to the Least of These is a great read for anyone who wants to push back from complacency to become a follower rather than just a believer. It’s certainly challenged us… and continues to do so!

      I wish for you and yours a Merry Christmas and God’s richest blessings in the year ahead. Perhaps we can continue this conversation in the new year!