OFFERING COMFORT THAT COMFORTS
On top of all of Job’s grief he had to suffer the “empty clichés” of his so-called friends. Job had lost his children, his wealth and even his own health, yet those who came to pay their respects had no real comfort to give him. They even began to argue with him that he must have sinned in some way to have brought such catastrophe upon himself. With friends such as these, who needs enemies?
When someone we care about experiences a loss, we must take care about what we say to them. When we feel tempted to offer “empty clichés,” we must learn to stay quiet and listen. Don’t say, “I know how you feel.” Because you don’t. Take care not to offer your story of loss in an attempt to commiserate. It won’t help them. Are you there to comfort or be comforted?
And all of those other clichés are just as empty. “Now she has her angel wings,” or “Remember, every cloud has a silver lining,” or “Tomorrow’s another day” may sound good in your head, but they won’t help your grieving friend.
“So, what can I say?” You ask.
You might try: “I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry.” And then stop talking and start listening. Be present for them. Hold their hand. Don’t interrupt when they speak. Pray for them. Bring them comfort food and drink. And when the Lord moves you to speak, offer them words that come from Him.
PRAYER: Dear Father, teach us to comfort others with Your agape love. For love listens before speaking and love gives without being asked. Thank You Lord that whatever comfort we have for others is comfort You have given us when we have suffered. Give us wisdom and power to pour out that same comfort, knowing that You always give us extra comfort for others. And Lord, please don’t let us be like Job’s friends. Help us to be like Jesus, In His name we pray, amen.