Next weekend, my sister and I are gathering for our annual sisters weekend. As we grow older and find ourselves in different seasons, the uninterrupted time we spend together are ones we cherish and protect on our calendars all year long!
Thanks to COVID-19, this year’s annual sisters weekend will look quite different. We’re staying closer to home and it has forced us to be more intentional and more creative than ever before. As I was preparing my home for her arrival, God began to lay something on my heart. How could I intentionally pursue hospitality during COVID-19? How could I “show hospitality to strangers” and “contribute to the needs of the saints” during a season of sheltering in place, mask wearing, and social distancing” (Hebrews 13:2; Romans 12:13)?
Here are four women to reach out to during COVID-19, plus a list of creative ideas to pursue hospitality with each one.
See, and serve, the broken ones.
Contact your local Southern Baptist association and inquire about local women’s shelters for domestic abuse survivors and sex trafficking survivors. Many programs have seen an influx of women and children needing shelter during COVID-19. Gather your women’s ministry leadership team and lead by example to donate bedding and clothing, offer to help launder clothing, or bring dinner for the shelter.
Make it personal and purposeful by getting the first names of the women ahead of time and writing each one a handwritten note. Introduce God’s love into the letter.
Here are some verses that the broken woman needs to have written down to keep in front of her: Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 140:12, and Revelation 21:4.
Share your time with the struggling ones.
This is a season where most women—me included—are feeling the effects of a global pandemic. This is a season to lean into the Lord and lead women to the truth and peace of the gospel. Many women who find themselves in a crisis situation desperately need another woman to extend mercy, show compassion, lend a listening ear, and speak truth in love. From unplanned pregnancies to depression to unemployment, they are not only struggling with physical crisis but heavy decisions, lies from Satan, and familiar/relational issues. Gather your women’s leadership team and have a leader on call for women in your church and in their circles to call for prayer and spiritual wisdom.
Only God can move the hearts of women, but his mercy, compassion, and love can shine through you and soften, heal, and restore. Struggling women need to hear strong women speak these truths over them: Jeremiah 1:5, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 102:2, and Psalm 25:3.
Share a (virtual) table with the lonely ones.
I know—we are all tired of zoom calls and social distancing! However, more than ever, women are feeling alone and overwhelmed. Women are relational; this we know! Consider especially the singles in your fold, the widows, and those experiencing a deep loss during this season. Host a virtual dinner party by dropping dinner at their door and delighting over the laughter and fellowship while you breathe life into them.
Listen to their stories—really listen—and follow the Spirit’s leading on how to share these truths with your hand (virtually) over theirs: Psalm 71:10, Exodus 33:14, and Psalm 119.
Savor God’s hospitality with the hurting ones.
Do you know a woman who has experienced a miscarriage, a woman faced with a diagnosis, or a couple separated because of COVID restrictions in a hospital or living facility? Contact those family members closest to her for ideas on her idea of relaxation, her favorite foods, and what she really needs right now. Whether it’s a basket of comforts from home, a phone call, or dinner for the spouse and family, be intentional about breathing life into her…and her family.
However you choose to spring the surprise on her, make sure you write these words on her heart by text or phone call or note: Psalm 119:28, Psalm 46:1-2, Psalm 62:5, Lamentations 3:23, and Psalm 90:1-2.
During this unexpected season of COVID-19, gather your women’s ministry and reach out to your women and women in your community! See them, share your time with them, and shower them with the hospitality that we know and receive from the Lord because we are co-heirs with Christ.