Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Let's start with the "what NOT to say" answer. I heard this in church a while back and my heart responded "So true! So true!"
God hasn't revealed the "why" to suffering except that we live in a fallen world.
You know this is true. Just look at the book of Job: God devoted an entire book proving how useless man's efforts are when trying to explain suffering.
And then there are those who think our suffering is due to lack of faith. If we had "enough" faith we could move mountains. My husband Tom got this pitch when his wife Marilyn was dying of cancer. They could "overcome with enough faith." Ha! There are many things on earth that faith overcomes, but what God allows is not one of them: we all have our appointed day.
Platitudes and cliches will sting when grief is raw. Unless you have the sort of relationship that has earned you the right to be heard, you don't need to say anything. Just be there. Weep with those who weep. Don't even tell them you'll pray for them. Just pray for them--later on you can tell them you are still praying. One woman I met for the first time months after Bruce's funeral told me she had prayed for me every day since she heard Bruce died. I was amazed at her compassion and appreciated her gift to me of taking the time to pray for me. Try doing that for people you know who are suffering.
What would you tell someone who wanted to know what to say to someone who's grieving? I'd love to hear from you and I'll post your comments as soon as possible.