When she heard that her best friend’s baby died, Andra didn’t know what to do. Should she call her friend right away or wait a few days? What should she say? She asked her mother, Mary Farr, a children’s hospital chaplain, for advice. “Phone her now,” her mother said. “Tell her you love her and that you’ll call back later.” Andra followed that advice, and it meant a great deal to her friend.
How should we respond when those we care about suffer a loss? Second Corinthians 1:4 tells us that God “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” It’s in God’s school of comfort that we learn to better understand the needs of those who hurt.
Mary Farr writes, “We live in a fragile and imperfect world tinged by brokenness and cloaked in unanswered questions. Some things truly aren’t fair. This is hard.” She encourages people to resist the temptation to fill the silence with talk. Instead, we need to be comfortable with saying, “I don’t know,” and not try to provide easy answers. And when there’s nothing to say, just sit together.
When friends need comfort, ask “the Father of mercies” (v.3) to teach you what to say and do. —David McCasland
The comfort God has given us
He wants us now to share
With others who are suffering
And caught in life's despair. —Sper
God comforts us to make us comforters.