Wednesday, September 15, 2010

6 Ways to Let Those with Chronically Illness in Your Church Know You Care

1 in 3 people in the U.S. have a chronic condition. If it’s not you, it’s someone sitting next to you.

Too often, a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, or a chronic condition like back pain from a car accident, is invisible. Those who live with chronic illnesses do everything they can to look presentable, get to church, and sit through the service. But as someone with rheumatoid arthritis, as I stood during worship and grasped onto the pew in front of me to balance my knees that need joint replacements, I nearly laughed as the worship song said, “I will stand in spite of pain.” Surrounded by a church I loved, I still felt lonely and misunderstood.

Churches have an overwhelming amount of needs that must be fulfilled where the need is obvious. So if people aren’t saying anything about their pain, doesn’t that mean they are coping with it fine? Their faith and the ability to pray for strength should be enough, right?

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