“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”-Romans 12:15
When tragedy strikes, it is difficult to find the right words to say. People are searching for answers, but often times they’re looking for someone to assist with their healing.
Healing comes in many forms, often times through tears, yet comforting words of peace can be an added benefit to those who are struggling in times of need.
So, what exactly do you say? How do you share words of comfort and hope?
Here are three things to say when interacting with someone in need:
1) I’M HERE: This might seem simple, but for some reason people tend to overlook this simple phrase, and offer cliche comments to fill the silence. Sometimes, all people need to hear is, “I’m here”. Now, that carries different meanings, which range from just being there to talk on the phone for a couple hours to helping clear out a storage unit of a loved one’s belongings. Either way, knowing that you are available can assist in the healing process.
2) I CARE: Again, this might seem simple, but let’s think about what this means. Yes, people might share an, “I’m sorry” or “Prayers” on a Facebook wall, but does that mean they care? Sometimes it does, but taking the time to call or send a private message just to share that you care enough to go beyond sad face emoji. I remember when my parents were going through their divorce and I was 3,000 miles away. My little brother was going through the emotional time and I couldn’t be there for him. One of my best friends assured me he would be there for my brother in my absence. He took him out, played video games with him, and even had him assist in his work to help take his mind off things. That act f kindness helped me know that I had a friend who cared. These two words carry weight and mean more than you might think.
3) NOTHING: Silence is golden. Sometimes, just visiting and being present in silence can help bring peace. Silence is difficult, but so essential to healing. When you take the time to shut off your phone, or at least put it on vibrate, and designate time to sit with those being afflicted by pain or struggle healing can be experienced. Silence can be awkward, but talking too much can hinder the person’s ability to think. Listening to their thoughts and concerns can help you think through proper responses. Remember, cliches can be frustrating to people in need, so listen. Pay attention to body movements and facial expressions. Some needs that might be unspoken can go unnoticed if we are talking too much. Saying nothing can be more helpful than saying too much.
We all handle things differently. Figuring out what response is needed at the time takes time. Which means, we need to be intentional about showing we care to those who are suffering.
Before you go to them, pray. Before you speak a word, pray. Seek God’s wisdom and discernment on what words to speak or not speak. Ask God for healing and peace to be received for those who are in need. Allow the Spirit to guide your steps.
May we see our role in the healing process. May we find ourselves sincerely caring for those in need. May we be present in the lives of those who are suffering.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How hard is it for you to share grief with those who are grieving?