Tag Archives: hospital

For One of the Least of These: Visiting Those Who are Sick

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Please imagine the following scenario:

Your fifth day in the hospital begins. It is yet another day of little sunshine, with many more to come. The brick wall of the laundry blocks your view. Cheer is missing too. Nurses and an occasional doctor come and go. Some are compassionate, others all business. 

You hurt. Moving, even shifting in bed is difficult. Lunch is served, but you are not hungry. Soon it is time for therapy where others expect you to try harder to advance toward wholeness.  

Few people know about this hospitalization because you find your reason for being here somewhat shameful. You are certain that most of your loved ones and friends will assume you brought it on yourself. They will say, “Why don’t you get it together? Make better choices!” You’re not in the mood to hear it.   ♦♦♦

How do you react to this story? Do you sense why shame might be part of hospital admission? What do you assume is the health issue?  It may surprise you that I am describing a motorcycle accident recovery and not a psychological problem.

Not everyone who is sick has a physical illness we can see. Some of us struggle or have struggled with brain injury, brain tumor or aneurism, mental illness, or even learning disabilities. None of these are visible, yet each deserves compassion.

Visiting the sick, specifically those with mental and behavioral disorders, is as simple as entering the hospital and walking to a person’s room. Yes, there may be locked doors and bars on the windows, but you are safe. Your loved one with depression (or any other mental health challenge) needs your encouragement and to know he or she is loved.  

Know someone who could use a visit? Take with you tender loving care, a listening ear, patience, a smile, and prayer. That is all you need. 

The For One of The Least of These series:

Feeding Those Who Hunger for Love       Offering Living Water to Those Who Thirst

Welcoming the Stranger      Covering the Emotionally Naked and Vulnerable

Visiting Those In the Prison of Addiction


Today’s Helpful Word

Matthew 25: 37-40 

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you … sick… and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers (and sisters), you did it to me.’”


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Embrace Love from the Heart. Teach it to Your Children

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

I’ll never forget Mr. Hammer.

As a tyke of merely four years, Mr. Hammer’s white hair, cane, and wicker porch rocking chair spelled out his age. Old. Very old.

On one of many escapes from my house across the street, I went to his door and knocked. He invited me in.  We had a nice chat over lemonade. I asked if anyone else lived there and he showed me a picture of his wife and son- both killed in a car accident years earlier.  I knew he was lonely and wanted to be his friend.

Then from outside we heard my name called, loudly and repeatedly.  Mr. Hammer peered through his screen door, turned to me and said, “You had better go home, child.  Please come back and visit.”

“I will!” Reluctantly I stepped onto his porch and returned to mom who was walking up and down the sidewalk looking for me.

That was the last time I ever saw Mr. Hammer.

After a good yelling,  I was told never to talk to him again. Why? “Because we do not know him,” came the final answer.

Born to Care

For three years I felt guilty until someone told me he had died. It’s disappointing to think my family couldn’t have met him rather than destroy his and my hopes due to fear.

When JFK was assassinated, I only understood a man had been hurt.  Our city hospital was nearby. Running toward it, intending to help the man feel better, I screamed in anger and disappointment when dad snatched me up and wouldn’t allow me to go. I was only two.

Perhaps caring about others is a trait with which one is born.  Maybe this tendency can be scourged by hardship and fear. Then again, it was relatability that drew me to Mr. Hammer. He needed  a friend and so did I.

Go for it

Whatever the nature or nurture debate about this may be, let me encourage you to embrace your desire to help, or to support someone else who does – especially children.

Yes, we must take care to have our needs met. Living to serve at the continued expense of our physical or mental health is unwise. Nevertheless,  what a pity it is to shut down any part of the love this world so desperately needs.


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.


How Do You Feel About Mother’s Day? For My Family, It’s Not Unique

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

My sons and I are usually pragmatic.  As much as I love their displays of affection and respect, I do not want them forced by a date on the calendar. We feel the same way about gift-giving on Christmas. On my birthdays I have fun giving presents or throwing parties, and since it is my day, I’ll do it my way!

This is not rebellion, it is practical and rather literal interpretations of these holidays’ meanings. Celebrations are assigned the task of increasing our joy and love for each other and God. Why bog them down with heavy obligations, financial worries, frenzied shopping, and the like?

Last month I spent my birthday in a hospital which cost my sons money and time. Jon and Tim paid for parking each time they visited. They brought me gifts and dinner. For three weeks prior, Tim especially helped me out around the house and by driving me everywhere. While I mend, he picks up the slack. As my out-of-state driver’s license lapsed during my hospital stay, he is still my unofficial chauffeur.

He has cooked for me, and Jon has bought me dinner and picked up items at the store when I had no energy. Both have spent time playing Monopoly and Rummikub with their sick momma when I know they would have enjoyed watching movies or challenging friends on online video games.

Jon gave up precious time talking to his girlfriend, while Tim lost hours at work. No one can tell me these guys don’t love me.  Mother’s Day or not, they show it in big ways.

It makes no sense for them to spend more hard-saved money on taking me out to dinner, or buying me gifts. Not now. Not with everything else that has happened. Besides, I know what Mother’s Day holds.

We will be celebrating Jon’s birthday too. I’m planning a small surprise.  In addition, they are going to help me practice for a driving exam retest, required by Ohio. Last time I did this was 40 years ago. What a relief to have their support!

So you see, I am greatly blessed by adult children who show me I matter. Who needs a commercial, scheduled celebration?

Believe it or not, the founder of Mother’s Day agreed. Emotionally, she was so wrecked by how commercialized Mother’s Day had become, that she made its abolition her life’s goal. She passed away in 1948 in a since closed sanitarium in West Chester, PA (a town I happened to frequent often while living in the Philadelphia area.) Read her interesting story here.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you who are mothers-at-heart!  

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 23:25 (The Passion Translation) 

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

cartoon pic by SILBERSCHUH on rgbstock.com

flower pic by  TACLUDA on rgbstock.com