I have heard it said several times the shortest story is this; For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. This week, I have witnessed that short story come true. It has broken my heart, yet I am not even related to the child. The sadness has consumed my thoughts. I have prayed for the parents and the family a lot.
What do you say to someone personally connected to this tragic event or any other gut-wrenching life situation? Words are so hard to come by. I asked April for help, and she replied, “You’re the writer!” I admit everything that came to my mind seemed so empty.
I read in Richard Exley’s book, “Blue Collar Christianity,” that sometimes, just being there is enough. Touching their arm, placing yours around their shoulder, or holding their hand if appropriate speaks volumes. It tells the individual walking waist-deep in grief, hurt, or pain that you are there with them and that you wish they weren’t going through this experience, but at least they are not going through it alone.
Of course, God is right there with them as well. And the Holy Spirit is the greatest comforter, but people can’t see them, and some fail to realize they are there. They can see people who care, though, so they find comfort in knowing that people care. Another reason to express your concern the best you can. Some will cook a meal, and others will send a card or flowers. Some might show up in person and give a hug. As I wound up doing, you can always ask God what to say. Regardless of whether the words were correct doesn’t matter; they know I care.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— John 14:16 (AMPC)
Prayer: “Father God, be with the family that has suffered this traumatic loss. Holy Spirit, comfort them. Help them today and in the days to come. As they search desperately for a reason and for someone to blame, may they not blame you, God, but understand this happened because we live in a world of free will and, therefore, of sin. May they run closer to you, God, and not from you. And God, I pray this for anyone in the world who is struggling, hurting, and needing you. Amen.”
Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.
2 thoughts on “What Do You Say?”
True, Mark. “Being there” is often all you can do. Nobody can “fix” that kind of situation except God, but His people can serve as a silent reminder that He is still there.