This life is full of grief and grieving. We lose family and friends. We lose jobs. We lose health. We lose possessions. And these losses take a toll on our spirits and our minds.
Grieving is a natural and cathartic process. We go through the grieving to come out on the other side stronger and healthier than before.
And if we ourselves are not the grief-stricken, we probably have a friend who is. Here we have the perfect example of how to console a friend.
Job's three friends joined him in his grief. They sat in silence with him for a full week.
Sometimes just being there is the biggest help you can give. You can be ready to listen and empathize. You can help clarify by reflecting the conversation of the griever back to him. You can refrain from judging by word or deed or attitude. You can stifle the urge to put forth simple answers to deep questions. You can avoid setting forth your own prejudices and hypotheses.
Just be there. Love them. Be ready to serve however you can. And remember, Job's three friends only blew it when they opened their mouths.
Help us to be friends to those who grieve. Let us be Your arms of comfort and Your hands of service. Give us the grace to seek their ease more than our self-importance.
In Jesus' most precious name.