“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”—Psalm 34:18
Last fall, God gave me an opportunity to comfort a grieving friend.
At the time, I realized three things:
- I wanted to say the right thing.
- I hoped not to say the wrong thing.
- I wondered how best to help grieving people.
Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Grieving is part of life. Watching others grieve their losses is part of life. We aren’t really taught how to comfort others. It’s something we learn by watching and doing.
One of my favorite recent books on this subject is called What Grieving People Wish You Knew—about what really helps (and what really hurts) by Nancy Guthrie.
Pure, uninterrupted listening is sometimes the best balm for the grieving.
In the Bible book of Job, we read about a suffering soul who endured incredible hardship. He was surrounded by so-called friends who excelled at saying the wrong thing.
If only Job’s friends would have just listened– without lecturing Job on what they guessed God was doing.
Job sums up how he felt:
“I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.” Job 16:2
Since death and grief are part of life, the art of comfort & sympathy will never go unnoticed or unused.
“Grieving people are not expecting you to make the pain go away. They’re really just hoping that you will be willing to hurt with them.” – Nancy Guthrie