TODAY'S WORD 4U 2DAY
IN THEIR SHOES (1)Romans 12:15
In 1883, poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox was travelling by train to a celebratory ball when she noticed a woman weeping across the aisle. Wilcox crossed the aisle and spent the rest of the journey comforting her. When she reached her destination she was in no mood to celebrate. Later, remembering the woman on the train, she wrote the opening lines to a famous poem called ‘Solitude’: ‘Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.’
Holly Vicente Robaina says: ‘We laugh…play…and celebrate together. Why is it so difficult to cry together? When friends hurt, Christians say, ‘I’ll pray for you’…In some cases God heals and restores, but sometimes there’s no miracle – it can be that there’s only profound sadness. C. S. Lewis wrote about losing his wife: ‘Where’s God?… Go to him when your need is desperate and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double-bolting on the inside.’
I don’t think Lewis would have been comforted by ‘God loves you…I’ll pray for you.’ While it’s great to encourage, we need to evaluate our words before we speak. Are we using ‘encouragement’ to ignore somebody’s pain because we don’t want to deal with it? Do we mean what we say, or are we just rattling off polite clichés? Do we expect our words to fix everything? Are we acting like we can do a better job than ‘the Comforter’, the Holy Spirit? When we promise to pray for somebody, do we even check on them later?’
These are tough questions, but worth asking yourself, because at some stage in your life you will probably be around someone in need of help through grief. Ever wonder why Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb? He could just have [told] the mourners, ‘Everything’s okay folks. God loves you,’ and raised Lazarus. Instead He met them where they were, in His love, by crying with them.
God is a practical God. Sometimes situations require more than words. Just like Jesus did, we may need to be with people and feel their pain before words are of any use.
Do you know someone who is struggling and suffering right now? Go and visit them, sit with them, listen to them and maybe even cry with them.