Through all of this I have learned there are many different kinds of people when it comes to comforting someone who is in a difficult situation. A few examples:
-There are the people who tell you to suck it up, buttercup. If I was honest, I am usually one of these people. You’ll be fine, keep going, get over it. (Actually, I usually say, “Drink more water; that cures everything.” Turns out it doesn’t. Huh, who knew?) Sometimes though, things aren’t fine.
-There are the people who toss Bible verses at you. The people who don’t really know what’s going on so they just grab verses to tell you. They mean well; they really do. But let me tell you, coming from someone who has been through something like this, it doesn’t always help. This sounds terrible so I’m trying to find the right words here. Most of the time, I already knew the truth. I knew what God’s word had to say and to have someone quote the verses to me (especially if they didn’t understand my situation) was not usually helpful.
-Then there are the people who understand. Most often, these people have also been through rough times and know how to comfort others. They know that what you really need is a long hug and that words are not always the answer. They know when it is time to talk and when you just need to sit and cry together. God has blessed me with several friends like this.
The Bible tells us to weep with those who weep but how often do we really take the time to know someone’s situation well enough to do that? I don’t want to be that top person anymore. I want to be someone who is compassionate towards others because each person I meet is going through something that I know nothing about. I have been so convicted about how judgmental and harsh I was before this. Everyone struggles with things that no one can see. I want to be slow to judge others by what I see. And I want to be quick to love. Quick to listen. Quick to share Christ.