Knowing what to say in certain situations can be quite difficult. A friend’s parent or child has passed away. A family member is diagnosed with a serious affliction. A co-worker is struggling with a difficult personal issue. We often find ourselves at a loss for words. We want to give comfort but how?
It may help you to know that before you enter the hospital room, before you make that call to the suffering friend, God is already present. “We love because He loved us first.” 1 John 4:19. God is pouring from his pitcher of love into you so that you can pour out to others and then be replenished with God’s love.
If you forget this basic truth and think instead that its you who is bringing God into the room or conversation, it can create a tremendous amount of pressure on you. You’ll feel pressure to say the right thing, try to impress those present with just the right words and maybe even take yourself a bit too seriously.
You don’t need to be perfect. You just need to be there. Be encouraged that God precedes you into that room or onto that phone when you reach out to comfort your friend. Just show attentive respect, good eye contact and convey a sense of ease and peace. Let the one who you are seeking to comfort decide what direction the conversation should go. Maybe it will lead to prayer and then be mindful to express love and compassion and not a veiled message. God will do the hard part — He knows what is needed at that time and will give it to those who ask.