Learning to Grieve (part 4) – Listening is the Essence of Wisdom

Come_Listen_To_Me_WSFaIt can be very difficult to know how to help someone who is grieving.  One of the things that Amy and I consistently run up against is how few people have experience with this kind of difficulty.  At first we got lots of suggestions from different people. We even had someone ask, “Well, do you talk to Micah?”, thinking that perhaps that would solve the problem Smile.  Of course we really appreciate everyone’s concern, and we know that our friends and family are really just trying to help, but the truth of the matter is that the most helpful thing that anyone has done for us through this process is simply to listen and to grieve alongside of us.

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 says, “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. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. “  The idea Paul is expressing there is that as we enter into other people’s suffering, God comforts us as we experience their loss so that we can turn around and comfort them as we “patiently endure the same sufferings.”

What those in grief need more than anything else is wisdom and the essence of wisdom is the ability to listen well.  I have found far more help from those who were willing to simply listen and sit with me (Job 3:11-13), than from any of the “great ideas” that others have had for Micah’s situation.  It’s the wisdom to keep silence that gives friends and family the permission to speak when the time comes.

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November 03 2010 04:00 am | Devotional and Learning to Grieve

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