We live in this world where it’s so easy to send a quick, virtual message to someone grieving. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for it. When distance or circumstances prevent us from being there in person.
But, I just wonder, if it has become our go to method for comforting others and would this be what Scripture means by “mourn with those who mourn?”
Let’s pretend, for a moment, that we don’t know “the rest of the story.” You know, when Job’s friends finally open their mouths and mess everything up. Let’s give them credit for getting it right in the beginning. 😉
When they hear of what has happened to their friend, they do several things right.
👉They show up. Like in person. IRL as we would say today. They made plans. Made arrangements. Left things undone at home.
👉They spend time. It wasn’t a drive by. It wasn’t a pop in for a minute so you can say you went. It was an oh my, this is awful, I’m going to sit in the ashes with you for seven days and seven nights because I am devastated at what has happened to you.
👉They sit in silence. Seven days and seven nights of silence. Why? ”Because they saw that his suffering was great.” Silence is okay, possibly even preferred, when the wounded one has your presence.
One final thought – notice that grief changes people. It changes them physically (Job 2:12 / Ruth 1:19.) But it also changes them in ways not so readily recognized. We must be gentle with the mourning – allowing them to find their new normal, not rushing the grieving process, not expecting them to be the same person they were before.
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