A while back, I learnt all about grief. I understood that grief is an ongoing cycle rather than a straight line with a neatly tied up end point. Armed with that knowledge, I felt empowered. It lessened the guilt and confusion I’d been experiencing about not “getting over it” as soon as I’d expected.
But no matter how well you’re prepared for grief, nothing can stop the pain when it comes.
That‘s why weeping with those who weep is so important. A close family member did that for me this weekend. I’d been completely wiped out by an unexpected wave of grief, stemming from a trauma that happened decades ago: I got confused. I started blaming myself. I doubted my own perceptions of the painful memories. I went numb.
This family member sat with me in silence. He felt my emotional pain, and it was the most healing thing anyone could have done. He let me talk. He reassured me that I wasn’t going crazy. I saw his jaw clench and his eyes glaze with protective anger as I wept over a situation I have no power to ever go back and change.
He prayed with me when I had no more words to say. As my mind swirled with confusion, reeling from the injustice I’d experienced, he asked God to comfort me.
Funnily enough, God had already answered that prayer, through the presence of this family member who was taking my anguish to God when my own words escaped me.
Some experiences in life just hurt. Often there are no simple solutions, and we’ll never fully grasp the “Why?”. Let’s not make the same mistakes that Job’s friends made. They became preoccupied with Job’s suffering – it puzzled them, and they found it confronting.
Instead of comforting their friend they hypothesised about why these terrible things might have happened and advised him on what he should do to fix it. Job’s friends only increased his pain. And their insensitivity made God angry! (Job 42:7)
Lord God, our loving and perfect Father, you have promised to wipe all our tears away when we meet you in heaven. Until that day, may we extend your compassion to those around us. May we weep with those who weep. By doing so, we can bring your comfort into people’s pain. Amen.
(Photo and devotion ©️ Fruitful Today)