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What would you do?

CBC family, I have something hard to talk with you about? My question is this, how comfortable are you with someone else’s pain?

Yesterday, I was standing in the Christian bookstore, looking at all of the artwork and beautiful things set out for Christmas. I turned and found myself face-to-face with a shelf full of bereavement and grief messages, trinkets and art work. Beautiful messages to encourage those who have experienced a loss. But I wasn’t ready for the quotes and poems. I stood there in the middle of the store quietly weeping. It’s been almost 3 years and it is still, at times, as painful as day one.

One of the sales associates came up beside me. Asking me if I needed help finding anything. As I turned toward her tears were streaming down my face, she paused and then said if you need anything let me know and walked away. She did not know what to do with my pain. This is so common in our world today, and painfully the church even more so.

As the church of the living God, with the answer of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the comforter, we need to be willing to press into someone’s pain. When we get an opportunity to share the love of Jesus we must take a moment to reach out a hand, pray for someone, listen to someone’s heart, share a word of scripture.

I am not upset with this sweet sales associate. As my daughter reminded me, many of us feel ill-equipped to handle such things. that is why am writing. Most people in pain just need to know that they are seen, that their voices are heard, and Jesus is real, even in the middle of their circumstances. You do not need to know all the answers, as a matter of fact most people (even seasoned Christians) don’t want to be preached to in the middle of their pain. They just want to know that someone sees them.

The answer is always —Jesus. So when God gives you an opportunity to minister to someone in pain. Acknowledge their pain, let them feel that you see them, that you’re not trying to erase the pain with flowery words, let them know that Jesus sees them to, and although you may not have all the answers to “why” you know the “WHO” that can walk with them through this time. Then ask them if you can pray with them. If they say yes, do it right then. If they say no, do it during your quiet time with the Lord.

CBC family, you have followed me through my season of pain, you know what it looks like, you are equipped, don’t be afraid to step into someone’s pain.

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