by Stacy Edwards, from Devotions from the Front Porch
And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. — Job 2:13 ESV
When someone is hurting or struggling, it’s natural to want to lend a hand.
Church folks are great at organizing help in all sorts of ways. Are you having a baby? Is someone in your family ill? Just let the ladies in your church know, and within no time they will have a lasagna and some lemon bars delivered to your door. People will mow your lawn, bring you groceries, and watch your children. We are a society of doers, which can be a good thing. However, there are times when even the most sincere offering cannot make the situation better.
Oftentimes nothing can be done, and the best way to help is to just be present. For all that Job’s friends may have done wrong, they got this part right. When they heard of all the tragedies Job had endured, they decided to show up. They couldn’t fix anything, and they didn’t presume to know how he felt. They simply sat with him in silence.
Sometimes hurting people just need your presence, to sit and drink a cup of coffee with no words spoken.
Sometimes all people need is a moment when they’re not obligated to share all the details and you’re not pressured to offer advice. When there’s nothing to be said, don’t say a thing. A chance to breathe and a friend’s presence can be two of the most healing things.
Lord, help me learn the ministry of simply being present in someone’s pain. Teach me to put aside my own discomfort or need to fix things and simply offer silence and coffee.
Excerpted with permission from Devotions from the Front Porch, copyright Thomas Nelson