Wednesday

Grief from the Sidelines Cont.

It's odd -- I have wanted to write/ blog about how we, as Christian brothers and sisters, don't usually handle grief well. And I truly started thinking about this subject thinking of people who have had enormous pain in their lives due to sin: their own or another's. It doesn't matter -- we don't know what to do with too much pain and grief. We either say nothing, or we have some awful theology as if we know why this had to happen.

And I don't mean I'm pointing fingers. I've SEEN it when I've gone through a particularly difficult time -- it was as if I had an invisible boundary about 10 feet around me that precious few people would penetrate, frequently even to say 'hello'. People don't know what to say or do, and so do nothing. Of course I vowed to not be that way, and learn from my own experience. Until this summer... One man was living a horrific nightmare due to some crazy choices his wife made. And when I saw him I couldn't even say anything. I didn't know what TO say. I DID say, "hello' -- but that was IT. I totally failed.

I was confessing this to another lady who has been there because of some crazy choices HER husband made (PEOPLE!! You cause your spouses grief when you make crazy choices!! Cut it out!!). She had an awesome response:

My favorite TV show is Law and Order for many reasons: the detectives, the
plots, the lawyers, the struggles as the justice system plays out in often very
unjust ways. Kind of like life. After informing the family of a loved one's
murder and the grieving begins, the detectives often say, "I'm sorry for your
loss." I've seen and heard of a lot of terrible things coming into people's
lives, but I haven't seen anything yet that wouldn't be eased a bit by an "I'm
sorry about your pain" or "I'm sorry you're hurting." It's short, sweet, doesn't
try to solve the person's problem--which is pretty arrogant anyway!--and is
generally socially appropriate. If a TV show can get it right, surely God's
people can give it a shot? I believe it's worth the risk.


And, when we look at it, there's very little risk involved. The only risk is feeling awkward -- and I have to tell myself that others' pain isn't about me; it's not about me feeling awkward, or me not knowing what to say, or knowing what to DO. Others' pain is about them needing comfort and needing to get to the foot of the Throne to pour out their pain. May I carry them there...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

1 comment:

Tucker said...

You summed it up very well with one line that has changed my perspective and I will remember it for the rest of my life:
"People need to get to the foot of the throne and may I help carry them there!"

Thank you!

 
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