Yo-Yo: Roller Coaster (Bummed) - Tuesday
"I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are!"
The world’s cheapest and least productive commodity is unsolicited advice. Nowhere is this more true than when we’re suffering, but unfortunately people are quick to provide a long list of “do this, do that’s” to ease our pain.
A few years ago, Pastor Rick Warren’s son, Matthew, age 27, committed suicide after a long struggle with mental illness. A year later, Rick’s wife, Kay, posted the following advice on her Facebook page:
The truest friends and "helpers" are those who wait for the griever to emerge from the darkness that swallowed them alive without growing afraid, anxious, or impatient. They don't pressure their friend to be the old familiar person they're used to; they're willing to accept that things are different, embrace the now-scarred one they love, and are confident that their compassionate, non-demanding presence is the surest expression of God's mercy to their suffering friend. They're ok with messy and slow and few answers … and they never say, "Move on."
“Messy and slow answers.” I love that… because it’s real. Have a friend who’s depressed? Rather than saying, “Smile more, pull yourself together, read a good book, or just get over it,” why not just say, “I’m here for you. I care. God loves you. So do I. With His help, we’ll get through this together.”
People need understanding before they need a litany of solutions. They usually need a hug more than a sermon; a friend more than a favorite verse. Paul said, Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
In the garden, on the night before his crucifixion, Jesus said, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. (Mark 14:34) I’m glad His disciples didn’t just hand Him a DVD or a good book and walk away.
The best thing to do is listen and care. Let your love be compelling and your words few.
- Ask God to lead you today to someone who needs to be heard; then listen.