Do you have that friend who screams when the bad guy jumps into view in a horror flick or cries incessantly when the main character dies in the end of a movie? You know who I’m talking about…you either hate going to the movies with this person or love it just so you can sit back and watch the show!
Well, unfortunately, I’m that friend. My empathy rating soars over 100% when I see things happening around me – good or bad, real or fictional.
It’s the real life experiences that hit me the hardest.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I am so sympathetic with the calamity of others that I’ve even stopped watching the home makeover show on TV because I end up with a stuffy nose and puffy eyes, as they tell the misfortunes of the people they are helping. Lee assists me tremendously in this area because he sees it coming way before I ever do. You can only imagine how many TV shows and movies we’ve stopped before the ending.
Personally, I have had a few disasters along the road of life, but nothing that was so devastating that I could not recover. However, I have had the opportunity to share life with six friends who have faced the worst possible situation – the loss of a child.
Why, why, oh why does this ever have to happen?
If you are wondering why this subject is on my mind, it’s because yesterday was the 7th year anniversary of a dear friend’s daughter’s drowning. Of course, the loss of this precious child forever altered the parents’ lives and those around them. They are forever changed by circumstances and they will not ever be the same. It breaks my heart that there are so many people who have to live with a loss such as this.
It would be wonderful if no one ever had to live through this kind of heartbreak. But the reality is that people do face dreadful situations…all the time…and it just flat out stinks.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2Corinthians 1:3-4
Obviously, I have no answers and I have no comforting words. But, I do want to encourage us all to look outside of the box we live in and know that there are many people hurting around us.
So, what can we do?
- REACH OUT– many people feel isolated, discouraged and hopeless. We can change that with a phone call, letter, email or text. Let someone know you care. It could mean the world to them.
- LISTEN– grief brings on all sorts of emotions including sadness and anger. People don’t want to hear what we have to say…they want us to listen to THEM!
- DON’T GIVE ADVICE – until we walk in another’s shoes, it is best to give our support and love, but not our view of what they are doing right or wrong.
Strangely, as I look at the above points, I’m realizing that these are excellent to use on any friend at any time! We all could use a friend…especially one that cares enough to reach out, listen and support us in all of our endeavors!
Who could you reach out to today?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.