Sunday, May 5, 2013

When you don't know what to say...

I know it is hard for you to believe, but there have been a few times in my life when I have been
absolutely speechless.  Sometimes it was joy that tangled my tongue in knots. Occasionally shock has (fortunately) sealed my lips.

But sometimes, it has been a sorrow that someone shared with me - a sorrow that touched deeply. Words seem inadequate at that time - because they are inadequate. Silence speaks much more eloquently.

This busy world wants us to fill every silent moment with words, television, radio, computer chat... something! Silently being with someone is not encouraged - in fact, it is discouraged - and the litany of "reasons" fills the empty places in our minds.

"They just need some time alone."
"I don't know what to do."
"It takes time to heal."  
"I get too upset when I talk to them."
"I'll call in a week or two."

 And on and on it goes.  It is tough to be there when someone is hurting and we don't know what to do. The truth is, most of the time "doing" isn't what is needed. "Being" is what is needed. Don't be afraid to be silent with someone - embrace it. The "being" can be healing for both of you.

Many years ago, I had a friend who showed me what it means to "be there" for someone. After her friend's son had died at the tender age of around seven years old, she went to her friend's home and silently stood in her friend's kitchen. She did this for weeks before her friend began to speak to her.

Being there takes time and it isn't easy or window-dressing-pretty. But it is beautiful.


"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
Matthew 18:20


  1. So true and you put it so elegantly.

  2. Very true, and very well written!

  3. Very well said. Sometimes people dealing with grief don't know what to say, either.

  4. Often times it is better to say nothing so thanks for this reminder. It's really difficult when there's distance between people since we can't be there to give that hug either.

    1. Thank you! You are so right - distance makes it really hard on both people.

  5. Wow. It is so tragic that she lost a son who was only seven! I agree that simply being there is sometimes exactly what is needed most.

    Beautiful flower =)

  6. That is exactly what you, your Mom and your family did for me those many years ago. My house was so full of chatter, condolences, etc. that I had to get away and when I found myself at your house, it was exactly what I needed. I learned a wonderful lesson that day and have been "being there" for whoever needed it ever since.

    1. Oh - thank you, Karin - your comment has really blessed me today! (((hugs)))


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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