Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 – Crying is better than laughing. It blotches the face but it scours the heart. Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving. Fools waste their lives in fun and games. (MSG)
In my green salad days (when I was young and inexperienced!), I couldn't understand why everyone didn't eagerly anticipate the Christmas season as much as I did. That is, until I had my own difficult season of mourning. When surrounded by crowds of celebrating folks, my own internal sadness became more painful and therefore more visible. I became the poster gal for "Bah! Humbug." Shopping, decorating, baking —and even worship — were just too much trouble.
Most folks patted me on the shoulder and told me to get on with life. They tried to drag me to another function. At all costs, they avoided the question, "So how are you doing, anyway?"
Thankfully, a few took the time to ask and then to really listen. They understood my loneliness and grief. They held my hand when I cried. They listened to my memories and helped comfort my heart.
1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (NIV)
We all know someone in need of a friend. Let's take the time to ask, "How are you doing?" and then be prepared to listen and maybe even cry with them, as God scours their heart.
Prayer: Father, we are grateful for all who have held our hands through our hard times. Now give us the compassion to do the same for another. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.