2 minute read.
When someone you love is in pain, you don’t have to talk. Words aren’t necessary, but open ears are. During tragedy, I hear these words often, “I don’t know what to say.” Neither do I, which is why saying nothing is a good choice.
Three and a half years ago, one of my best friends’ sons became a murder victim. While helping his father finish a project for a homeless veteran, two 18-year-old boys accosted them. My friend’s husband miraculously recovered from five bullet wounds. Her son died from two shots to the heart. What do you say in a moment like this one? Nothing.
No one knows what to say when the worst-case scenario happens. I called and left a simple message. “I have no words. I’m here for you whatever you need, day or night. I love you.” Then I just kept showing up, over and over again. Not just at her son’s memorial but week after week. Not offering advice, listening when she wants to talk, continually praying for her and the family, moving forward with them, one step at a time.
Silence helps heal.
Choosing to remain silent allows others to talk and heal. Discussing things you never thought you would isn’t easy for anyone. Create a safe place for them that will enable them to vent. Trustworthy environments allow hurting people to release their pain which helps them heal.
Forty-two months later, I’m still quiet. We talk about whatever topic she wants. When God nudges me, I send encouragement. With Jesus, we’re healing together, one day at a time. You don’t have to have all the answers for a heartbroken person. All you have to do is show up and say nothing.
Listen with love. Allow others to vent, knowing they’re safe with you. Hugs heal more than words.
Lord, thank You for always listening when we’re hurting. Forgive us for trying to explain the unexplainable. Help us today listen more than we talk. Give us open ears to hear the pain in our loved ones’ voices. Please help us to let others express themselves to us; however, they want. Keep our mouths closed and ears attentive. Let us love well today for Jesus. IJNIP. Amen
Question for reflection
Who can you listen to today?