What Do You Say?

What do you say when someone delivers tragic news to you about their life?

It’s not always appropriate to hug them, especially if they are of the opposite sex. All the words in the world suddenly feel trite. What do you say when all you want to do is to erase their pain and see them happy again?

That’s when he told me how his church family was helping him. How they gathered around him week-by-week. You don’t hear this from people who grumble about church. It truly is the good news of the Bible when people live out its precepts in word and deed.

My friend was aghast. She stumbled over her words in reaction to his news. I could see her searching her mind for the right words. We’ve talked about this in times past how people give the wrong words when someone just really needs someone to listen. My friend doesn’t want to fall into that category and carefully replied to him.

“Have faith. I will pray for you.” She said this softly, but I could see the struggle in her face.

So I listen and embrace the joy in a rotten situation–how his church family supported him. You don’t hear that often shared on the internet. It always seems like people pounce on the negative, celebrate the negative, or rush into spilling their pain all over the internet in the name of authenticity.

Yes, God will redeem your pain, but maybe right now isn’t the right time to share it on the net?

If you share it, is the lesson or the pain more prevalent?

I prefer the stories where good triumphs. In the darkness of your trial, was someone a light for you? How did they help you find stable ground? In your loneliness, how did God relieve it?

If you need to talk to someone, maybe a private journal or perhaps a good friend can help you sort out the good from bad? Maybe you could blog about that…how this good friend helped you see hope in something hopeless?

I discovered a great blog the other day. Her name is Ann Voskamp, and she is a fine example in how to talk about pain.

Meanwhile, dwell on hope:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

May I pray for you? Feel free to email me a prayer request or leave it in the comments. I’ll be happy to pray for you.

I prefer private conversation. You are more than welcome to email me in lieu of a comment or contact me via social media.

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