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The Thick of Pain


In church a few weeks ago, my pastor talked about what happens when a person dies within a Jewish community.  The friends and family of those left behind travel to the grieving’s house and simply sit with them.  They don’t make pat comments, they don’t swoop in and try to fix everything, and they don’t come in armed with an array of distractions.  They respect their grief and just sit in silence.  


Earlier today, I was watching the movie “Sunshine Cleaning” - a story about two sisters that form a bio-hazard clean up business, cleaning up the messes often left behind when people die.  In one poignant scene, they arrive at a house and find the frazzled widow waiting to give them the house keys.  Amy Adams’ character senses the grief of this old stranger and offers to simply sit with her. She reaches over and clasps the old woman’s hand - just as I imagine occurs in those grieving Jewish homes.  


Both stories reminded me of my own journey through pain.  The night my wife said she wanted to leave, I needed space to think and process.  For reasons at the time I was not sure of, I called a friend of mine I hadn’t spoken too in months, and had never really had deep conversation with before.  But, I knew he was a believer and I knew I needed a friend that could pray for me.  We went out for coffee (the elixir of any grieving situation, I’m sure) and for hours simply sat.  At times, I needed to babble - to voice my frustration, voice my anger, voice my confusion, voice my fears.  Other times, I needed to just weep.  If I wanted to converse, I could.  If I wanted silence, there was silence.  Through it all, he just sat with me.  And his presence truly showed me His presence.


It is difficult for us to slow down in today's culture.  Nowhere is this most needed than in those moments where life causes us to grieve.  Grieving is an inevitable part of life - whether it's a death, terminal illness, or divorce.  In the process of grieving, God simply wants to sit and grieve with us.  


And He may look uncannily like your best friend.  


Hey Jim-
March 1 of this year a friend of mine for over 15 years was murdered in Fresno. He had just turned 30 and was the father of 2 young boys. The circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear and the killer is still out there. I've experienced grief before but I have to tell you, the grief felt over the loss of my friend was deep. It's still deep; partly because there has been no closure, no answers and no justice.

I experienced the importance of just being with someone during a time of grief. My brother, husband of 6 days at the time, and I drove to Fresno to sit with friends and the family. We didn't have anything to say and there was nothing we could give or do to make it better. So we went and we sat with family and friends. We laughed a lot too at our memories with our friend, but mostly we were just there and others were just there with us.

Jesus said to come to him when we need rest. He didn't say to go and do anything or say anything first or in place of him.; he just said come to him. It's wonderful when our friends can help us to do this and when we can be that person for someone else.

Thanks Farmer

Pain can make a person stronger throughout his life. It may tech him good lessons that will make him into a great individual. - Connie Sellecca

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Grace makes beauty out of ugly things. I'm no relationship expert, but when my marriage fell apart, God's grace was extended through His community. This is the place to explore that community together.