Have you ever been in the position of being face to face with someone who is going, or just has gone, threw a terrible ordeal? Maybe it was the death of a family member, or a miscarriage or some other great and unexplainable event?
When faced with such a circumstance I am afraid some of us, myself included, want to console or encourage the hurt heart that is before us. Too often we can fall back on cliche sentiments that fall short. Or, worse, we throw out a bewildering – “It must be Gods’ will” or “time heals all wounds.” But what do you say when in such a situation?
First, lets look at why we feel we have to say anything. Are we so ego-driven that we think we can actually solve this persons problem in the few short moments we are with them? Is it that we have a Hero complex and feel we have to swoop in and save the day? Maybe it’s as simple as wanting to do for them as we would hope to have someone do for us if we were hurting. Whatever the reason might be, I thinks it important to examine ones motives before beginning to speak.
Secondly, Who is the persons that is hurting? How well do you know them? How well do they know you? I heard it said that “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Consider your relationship and if you have the credentials to advise, console or encourage.
Lastly, What do you say? What can be said? Unless you are certain you can solve the problem or give the most perfect (previously unspoken) answer it might be best to say nothing other then “I will pray for you.” And then start praying. Either silently in the Spirit or out loud in their presence. Because the only thing that I am certain of – in a situation such as these the only One Who can help is The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
After all, we are all called to lead them to Jesus
That’s all we can effectively do for anyone we meet
Micah 7:8b KJV