A couple of days ago we started talking about what to say to people who are hurting. We started with the Sensitivity. Today we’re moving on to the second guideline, simplicity.
We live in a world where more is often seen as better. But when it comes to words for those who are hurting, less is often best. A grieving father recently told me what helped him most was when people said, “I have no idea of the pain you are going through, but I want you to know that I see the hurt you have and I hurt for you.”
Kim Marquette, a DaySpring Associate Product Manager and pastor’s wife, shared with me recently about how she feels called to the “ministry of presence.” In other words, simply being there to serve without saying much.
Kim is outgoing by nature and says, “It always feels odd to me to practice the ministry of presence. I call it the ministry of awkwardness and uselessness. It seems like I am intruding or invading a very personal time, very personal space and yet these are real needs. It’s funny even when I feel like I am intruding the families are always so grateful.”
Sometimes saying fewer words can feel uncomfortable to us. But it may be what those who are hurting need most. So take a deep breath and let go of the myth that you need an eloquent script, a stirring speech, or a ten-point sermon to bring hope to others. You simply need a few caring words and an open heart. God will fill in the rest.
At a time when words are hard to find…I just want you to know I’m praying for you.–DaySpring Card