When You Don’t Know What to Say

I’m struggling to find words.

A friend of mine shared something with me this morning and I instantly felt helpless, taking their situation on as my own, embracing the pain that the emotions brought.

I know that I will never be able to fully understand what another person is going through (C.S. Lewis agreed with that sentiment in his beautifully written book, A Grief Observed) but I wish I could somehow help, somehow make a difference.

“I’m so sorry, ______.”, I said, “If there’s anything I can do, anything at all, let me know…” I continued, my voice quiet and somber.

I will never forget a story my childhood pastor told me about a man who was struggling because a close loved-one was on death’s door.  This man would sit at the hospital while friends of his would come and offer the support, talking to him and trying to find ways to cheer him up.

After a while, a fellow parishioner came to the hospital and simply sat down beside the man.

He never said a word the whole time he was there.

The man would go on to say later that it was his friend who came to his side and never spoke a single word that meant the most to him during his grieving.

I’m trying to be that way.  I want people to know that I care for them, and that I will do anything I can for them; but I don’t want to overwhelm them in any way by offering more words than necessary.

Traveling mercies,


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