Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cafe Chat


Life is hard, sometimes tragic. If we are not personally in one of life's circumstances that is hard, then we probably know someone who is. As Christians we have a wonderful opportunity to comfort those around us that are living through some of life's worst experiences. However, if you are like me I have said, or done things that were not comforting to my family and friends that were going through intense times. Although my intentions were good, my words or actions were not so good. Why? One answer is that I did not let Jesus lead me as to what I should say or do for those who were hurting. It is not my words that can truly comfort or help those around me, but His.
So today, I would like for us to share some of the words that were said to us, or words we said to others that were not comforting, or maybe even made the situation worse. Today's sharing is not at all an exercise to condemn those around us who may have said things that were not good, but to help our community see what words can do if they are not filtered through Jesus. In Christ, Kim : Last year on June 8th, my big brother passed away from his diabetes. I found out about his death from a group email that was sent to me by my Aunt. So, things really started off in a very bad way. My husband had just shaved my head due to a illness that had taken most of my hair already, he shaved it on June 7th, talk about terrible timing. So, when we went to the funeral home, people were staring at me quite a bit, and some even made remarks, and questioned me. That hurt me, and was so wrong. We were not there to talk about me, and my lack of hair. We were there to pay respect to my dear brother, whom I loved dearly. It really hurts me, and bothers me, when you lose a loved one, and others act as if they loss the person. I appreciated the love, and kind words that were said to me in April 2006, when I loss my precious momma. But, I did not need, or want people saying to me, that they knew exactly how I felt. No, they did not know how I felt, their momma was still living, and praise God she was in great health. For months, I had taken care of my momma, as she faded away. I was the only one there with her at my home on the day she passed away. So, they did not understand my feelings at all. What I needed for them to do, was come along beside me, and just sit with me. Put their arm around me, and pull me close, tell me they loved me, and especially tell me Jesus loved me. Comfort me with the love and care of Jesus, which would have given me the sweet peace that surpasses all understanding. Pray with me, and for me, that is what my heart needed to begin to heal. When someone you love is hurting, be there for them to lean upon. Share the precious , and much needed love of Jesus with them. Please do not keep telling them, that you know how they are feeling, because you don't. Their feelings are their feelings only, please remember that. Walk softly upon their feelings, have an understanding heart.

18 comments:

PW said...

I don't know if people realize this, but pastor's and their families (yes I'm a pastor's wife) get hurt a lot. In some chuches, they get a lot more hurt than in others. Churches, especially smaller ones are like families. And we get hurt. I can't say any particular hurts, but just know we've been hurt. All pastor's and their families have been hurt.

And yes my family has hurt me too.

Yes, when you are comforting someone, it is better to say I'm sorry that .....such and such happened; I'm praying for you; hugs. Then to say I know how you feel, because they probably don't in most cases. But, saying you're sorry for something happening, giving hugs and prayers in my opinion are better.

Beth in NC said...

I'm so sorry those things happened Denise.

Great advice.

Jewel said...

Yes, Denise, you are so right. We need to ask the Lord to give us wisdom when offering comfort and sympathy to others. Sometimes just a hug or a hand squeeze and our presence is all someone needs, hm? Thanks for this very thought-provoking post. ((HUGS))
About two years ago, when I first went out in public with my walker, a person that I go to church with said abruptly, "What are you doing with that thing?" I could hardly believe it! But I went on to explain to them that I could no longer walk without assistance. BUT I do have to say that most everyone was very kind and understanding and helpful.
I learned that day to be even more understanding of others.

His grace is sufficient. said...

My friend you are so right. Sometimes it best just to be there to listen with your friend who is grieving.
Job's friends were more of comfort to him when they sat and grieved with him. It is when they opened their mouths that they hurt him, judged him and was completely wrong about him.
I know in my times of grief friends have hurt me with their well intentioned words.

Samantha said...

I feel during difficult times, the less words the better. Just being there for them and letting them know you are there, you love them and Jesus loves them. During the loss of my mother, this is all quietness, peace and love.

Toknowhim said...

Denise... Thank you so much for sharing your experiences today. You surely have been through some of life's worst circumstances. Please come back again next week as we will share what we can do for those that are hurting (you did mention some great things today)

Blessings!!

April said...

Denise~
Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. You don't know exactly how someone else is feeling, unless you've walked that same path. I can say that I've been hurt by those who love me most. It's a hard thing to get past sometimes. Thankfully, as Christians, we can call on the help of God to get us through.

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Aww sweetie, it is hard, and often times we are not good at how we approach people when they are hurting. Very good post. Thank you and God Bless. Love you

Talk..to..Grams said...

Hi Denise, I am feeling better today so I thought I would come over a visit! My blood pressure is better and my headaches are almost gone! Praise God! Keep praying my biopsy report will be Good!!! Love and hugs Grams

Martha said...

Hi hon! I noticed that we're both part of the same challenge and I wanted to stop by to say "Howdy!"

Boy, am I glad that I did. Your blog feels like home to me and I can already notice that you love the Lord with all of your heart <3 this is a beautiful post and a gentle guidance on how to act around those who lost their loved ones. I haven't lost anyone close to me yet and I often wonder what to say to others when they lose loved ones.. this was a beautiful reminder, thank you for sharing!

I hope to hear from you soon :) and I wish you success on your weight loss journey!!

<3 Martha
Fly Away Birdie

Always a Southern Girl said...

I have found over the years that the best thing to tell someone that is going through a hard time, I'm here if you need me.(and be there, check on them) also tell them you will pray for them.

I don't know that I have experienced any hurtful or wrong things said by people. If I have, God's grace has made me forget it.

Love you my friend! Have a great weekend.

Angela said...

When someone you love is hurting, be there for them to lean upon. Share the precious , and much needed love of Jesus with them. Please do not keep telling them, that you know how they are feeling, because you don't. Their feelings are their feelings only, please remember that. Walk softly upon their feelings, have an understanding heart.

I LOVED this statement....

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

My grandmother always said... "Silence is golden"... this is true in every sense of the word...
Sometimes just presence of a person is more powerful than anything....
You are so right... It is as if "I know how you feel" minimizes your emotions or feelings... because even if someone has been there...the situations are always different...

thank you for your faithfulness my dear friend..

love you
Connie

MyJourneyBack said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart today. I know it does hurt when people say things that they really haven't thought through. I pray that by sharing your experiences that God uses your openness to heal those hurts. I know I will for sure be careful how I speak and what I say to others.
I cannot heal the hurt but I can pray for you and send you a hug.
Smiles and Hugs,
Sherry

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Hi Denise,
I agree with you about telling people that you know how they feel. I also agree that we just need to be there for them and hold their hand and if we feel we need to say something let it be how much the Lord cares.
I am so sorry you had to go through that ordeal when you lost your brother. I don't understand how people can be so cruel! Thank you for sharing today and as always you inspire and challenge me.
Much love,
Sue

Hi! I'm Grace said...

That is very true, Denise. I have to admit, when I go to a funeral, I don't say anything... it's either I don't know what to say or I don't want to say something inappropriate. I was just hoping that my presence can do a little comfort to them, but maybe not enough.

luvmy4sons said...

Oh sweet sister...thank you for your transparency and for your wisdom. Love you! Dearly!

Oh Sew Good said...

Well...I can tell you what not to do. Don't hand the family members a copy of the will before the funeral service begins. I don't care if you are a daughter, don't do it.