“Comfort, yes, comfort my people,” says your God. Isaiah 40:1 TLB
What do you say when the unchanging-unthinkable happens?
I believe—nothing at all.
Yes, you don’t speak.
- You reach out your arms and wrap them around the one who is hurting.
- You weep together.
- You pray silently for them.
- You call out to God on their behalf.
- You “quietly stand in the gap” hoping and believing—for them.
All the right words will come, later.
Right now—words won’t work the way you want them to…
Won’t be nearly enough.
Leave all the cliches unsaid.
(Their pain will only drown them out anyway.)
They will believe again… later on.
I love the way Natalie Brenner speaks so authentically about loss.
Here is an excerpt from a recent blog post: When All Seems Lost, Because It Is
In the last two months I have lost life as I knew it. My many identities and roles have been slowly stripped, many relationships forever altered, my hopes and expectations for my future completely dismantled, I lost a child I was going to adopt, I physically lost a car and the home I was sure I’d be in for the next five years.
All seems lost because all is lost.
This statement has forced its way into my head a multitude of times: “Natalie Brenner: where all things come to die,” because that is exactly what the last two months has been. Every piece of the life I knew, dying as I knew it, being touched by loss.
I like to look for all the reasons to be grateful. I like to hold life in both hands: the joy and the sorrow, the deep appreciation and the deep agony, the brokenness and the healing.
Often in the Christian world, when we decide to talk about pain and brokenness and suffering…it is perceived as though we are ungrateful. In my experience, I have found that we are quickly met with someone reminding us that God is with us and that we still have this or that, and that the sun is out. And though these things are true, I would challenge and invite us to sit down and not feel the need to rush to the morning.
We cannot force the morning joy to arrive when it’s two am darkness, and frankly, it doesn’t bring the sufferer closer to healing. It only creates a wedge and isolation.
I know joy will come, and I will make it through the night, but I have learned there is no forcing or willing it. I have spots of joy in and through my day, because that’s real. But I am holding onto knowing that one day there will be another side to this incredibly darkened spot I am in.
So perhaps for now…
Just love them.
Hug them tight.
Pass the Kleenex…
While you walk the Broken Road…
In His unchanging love…
Be the Jesus they need with skin on.
Only Jesus can fix this anyway.
Ask Him what they need most.
Then, just quietly do that.
On the other side of this?
They will be so thankful for you, and the way, you loved them.