Fulfilling the call to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) stretched in new ways over the last year.
Physical contact restraints ruled out the hugs, high-fives, and fist bumps we’d normally greet our friends, family, and new acquaintances with.
But there are several creative ways to show you care from a distance.
Here are 11 ways to love your neighbor as yourself this year.
- Send a virtual card
- Write a letter
- Record yourself singing a song
- Send an e-gift card for groceries
- Don’t text, call
- Send an email
- Play a virtual game together
- Host a watch party
- Send flowers
- Order them takeout
- Decorate your car and do a drive-by
Send a virtual card
Write a customized note, pick a design you know they’d like and send it off in seconds. There are free and paid platforms to do this. I sent one a few days ago through St.Jude.
I saw a shared post on my Facebook timeline to send a free Valentine’s Day card to St. Jude patients. It took two minutes. If you want to send virtual cards throughout the year try Punchbowl or Hallmark ecards.
Write a letter
Grab some pen and paper and write out a thoughtful, handwritten letter. Send letters to your family and friends you miss seeing.
If you’re feeling fancy, purchase stationery and specialty stamps. If you’re using letter writing as a ministry initiative, find a local nursing home or hospital you can send them to.
If you’re writing to a child, spice it up with stickers of their favorite characters or use different colored ink.
Record yourself singing a song
Hold your camera up, stare into its eyes and belt out the happy birthday song, a love ballad or rhyme to the person who’d appreciate it most.
Send an e-gift card for groceries
You can purchase an electronic gift card from most places that offer physical gift cards. Publix, Kroger and Walmart are popular grocery chains that supply e-gift card options.
If you don’t have an email address, send groceries to those in need through Instacart. Just be sure to let the person know beforehand that a special delivery is on the way.
For outreach ministry where you’d normally cook or distribute food onsite, hand out grocery cards instead.
Don’t text, call
Sometimes it’s better to hear someone’s voice rather than read their text message.
Voice to voice phone conversation adds a level of intimacy and concern that doesn’t always translate over text. I prefer texting over calling but there are a few people I make exceptions for, one being my great grandmother.
For one she’s 95 and has no idea how to text and two, I’d much rather hear the sound of her voice to gauge how she’s feeling.
Send an email
I know, I know. I just said calling is better sometimes but I also love a good email and someone else out there does too.
If it’s appropriate for your recipient, add some personality with emojis and GIFs. Plain text works too.
Play a virtual game together
My family and I love to play Heads Up (which I’m a beast at btw) when we get together.
Other virtual games to play via Zoom are Chess, Drawful or Outburst. See the Washington Post’s full virtual game list here.
Host a watch party
Organize a watch party on Netflix or Facebook to view a movie or show premiere with your siblings, coworkers or girlfriends.
Everyone will be able to watch the same movie/show together and comment as it goes along from their own homes.
If I was an essential worker, getting an anonymous bouquet from someone just because, it would make my day.
Send a bouquet to your child’s teacher(s), a nurse ward in your county, or to clergy in your life. Places like 1-800 FLOWERS are great for this.
Order takeout from a favorite restaurant
My sister once said I’ll be anybody’s friend for a cheeseburger. This is mostly true 😆.
But more to the point, sharing a meal or cooking for someone else is a form of nurturing. It signifies that you care. If you can’t physically cook a meal for someone, order from their favorite restaurant and have it delivered to them. It’s the next best thing.
Decorate your car and do a drive-by
Make some poster board signs, write on your car windows, park it and honk your horn for someone special this month.
You can make this gesture as big you want. Add balloons, car magnets, confetti or whatever else to get your point across.
An idea to thank delivery drivers from Amazon, UPS or the post office could be to leave your decorated care with words of encouragement parked in your driveway so the workers can see it.
You could even leave a basket of goodies with water bottles and handwritten notes for them to take as they drop of your packages and mail.
Have more ideas to show others how to “love your neighbor as yourself” ?
Add them below!
At His Service,
Chassidy has been a proud member of Thy Kingdom Has Come International Ministries for 14 years. “I love my church because it’s a place of transformation through the power of Jesus Christ. It stands for everything God loves”. She serves as a minister, administrator and oversees the ministry’s social media efforts. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, traveling, writing, searching for bakeries and binge-watching her favorite movies/shows on streaming services she vows to stop paying for.