Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grieving with others

"A little girl lost a playmate in death and one day reported to her family that she had gone to comfort the sorrowing mother.  "What did you say?"  asked her father.  "Nothing," she replied.  "I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her."

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."  Romans 12:15

This life is full of troubles.  We do not have to wait long at all for pain and sadness to enter into our lives or touch us through our circle of family and friends.  As godly women we want to be able to respond in grace and mercy with great compassion as bad things happen.  It is somewhat easier to respond in practical ways like helping with children, making meals, lending a hand in any way.  But what do we do when everything practical is taken care of?  How can we "help" when there is nothing for us to do physically?

Well, first of all, we tend to forget or marginalize how powerful PRAYER is.  The Father hears our cries, counts our tears, comforts, and works in so many ways in the lives of others and in us as we pray.  Long range continual prayer is difficult when we do not see any changes.  This is when perseverance is important and, really, we can only do this with the LORD's strength.  It is easy to give up and become frustrated because ~~~it seems like~~~nothing is happening. 

Oh, what joy when in glory we will discover the outcomes of our fervent prayers!

Meanwhile, how do we weep with those who weep? Or mourn with those who mourn?

I have grieved deeply in my life.  I know the agony that never ends.  I understand the deep feelings which are those groanings that only the Holy Spirit can interpret.  I know what comfort it is when others are there to console you and later to encourage you.

I have been deeply loved and comforted by those the LORD has brought to us.  I have also experienced those dear people who try to grieve and comfort, but instead they fall so short that they unintentionally hurt you more.  And I know how it is to seemingly be forgotten in my agony as time marches on, when in actuality people really do care and pray - they just do not know how to express it to you.

Even though I know and have experienced all these things and more, I can also respond incorrectly with those who are in very much pain.  I may show great mercy and compassion when needed 99% of the time, but it is the 1% when I have said the wrong things, or have forgotten to pray, or be there for the mourner, that discourage me; for I know what that feels or sounds like when this has happened to me.

Gentle women, let us never stop trying to walk compassionately alongside those who mourn.  We may be the hands and feet of the LORD to touch their brokenness so that they can see the LORD has not forgotten them.  Each new week let us think of who we may have temporarily forgotten in their suffering, and in some way come alongside them to encourage them. 

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.   So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especailly to those who are of the household of faith."  Galatians 6:9-10


Cherry Bieber said...

One Sunday several weeks following the loss of someone very dear to my heart, I sat in the back pew and wept through the church service. One individual approached me afterward and very bluntly stated, "You know, you really need to get over this." It has been that experience that has helped me to be very, very careful about what I say to anyone grieving. How can I possibly know the fullness of what they feel?

The Piper's Wife said...

Cherry, I am so sorry for this person's merciless treatment of you. Grief is a process and depending on each person, it could take a life time. Not only this but corporate worship is emotional. We are personally coming before God and at the same time with our brothers and sisters before God. Tears should be normal as well as praises. After all~~~who designed us this way? and let us remember that He also weeps.