There is a series of very good articles here on how to help a grieving friend. Learning to grieve like a Christian woman is a grace, and learning to minister to those who are grieving is so important for us in the church. Be sure to check out all her short articles.
2 thoughts on “Help for Helping Grieving Friends”
Sometimes I wonder if you’ve hacked into my e-mail account and know exactly what’s going on in my life. Here’s what I wrote last night: “I’ve never faced the loss of anyone this close to me, and I’m feeling pretty bewildered by the whole thing. So would you pray I don’t handle it too stupidly?” These articles aren’t written to my situation exactly, but I think there’s some stuff there that will help me make sense of things. Thanks!
I just finished reading all those articles on helping a grieving friend. There is some very helpful information in them. Years ago we had someone in our church place some pamphlets on our literature table about how to help the grieving. As I read through them it almost made me feel more insecure as to how I can best offer ministry to hurting people. I felt like I began to second guess myself about my words and even my actions.
Even with the best intentions in either word or deed toward the hurting can be taken wrong and unreceived by them. And I had to realize that the Lord did see my heart and to trust Him in using me to offer consolation. Unfortunately, it must be remembered that those grieving sometimes lack clear thinking or they even can become ensnared to bitterness and end up shifting all sorts of blame in all sorts of directions.
We are all so very different and have different needs. How I might like to receive comfort may be totally different then how someone else might like to receive comfort.
All in all, I definitely think learning about how to help the grieving is a good thing. But “being moved by compassion” as Christ did often, is something I think we are best prepared to do when we cry out to the Lord appealing to Him to give us grace and understanding to walk in empathy towards others.
Definitely there are things not to do and not to say that we should aquaint ourselves with, but then understand that even doing and saying all the right things that you think and even received from various reading materials, it just may not be what they needed at that time or they are just not ready to receive the mercy God is showing them through your words and actions. As in all of our Christian life, reaching out to the hurting means doing so in faith – believing that God will heal the brokenhearted and that if He so wills it, you have the privilege in being a part of His comforting work.