Always say something.

9 May

Situations arise in life when I’m tempted to be at a total loss for words.

* Sometimes it’s because the situation is so devastating, I feel like any words I offer will still just be pathetic at best to fix anything.

* Other times it’s because I’ve never experienced a similar situation before so I don’t even know how I’d feel to know what to say to someone else.

* Then there are the times when I feel like I don’t know the person well enough to say anything.

* And still yet, the times when I’m too busy forming an opinion about the person or the situation to put aside my own judgments and just accept them in the moment.

Ouch. That last one stings a little.

I know many people who have refused to attend a funeral because they just didn’t know what to say.

Or who avoid phone calls because they feel inadequate to offer any help.

Or who just disappear from people’s lives because the fear of saying the wrong thing seems greater than trying to help someone through life.

And even those who remain silent because they’ve down played the situation with prideful thoughts like “I wouldn’t do it that way, I would have, if it was ME, they shouldn’t have, it’s sad that they, if they were smart they’d….”

Here’s the thing, when someone is opening up and sharing with you, no matter what the situation – SAY SOMETHING!

Yes, there are wrong things to say. I’m not advising you throw all wisdom out and just start being a blabbing fool.

FOR EXAMPLE:

You should never tell someone who has lost someone “eh, you’ll get over it with time.”

Or someone who has just been diagnosed with an illness “oh no, you’re going to miss your grandchildren growing up if you die.”

Or someone who had a miscarriage “it’s OK. There was probably something wrong with the baby and you wouldn’t want a special needs child.”

Or someone whose house was just foreclosed on “well, if you would have eaten more ramen noodles instead of other food maybe you wouldn’t be in this situation.”

When someone is opening up, it’s not an invitation to judge. It’s a cry for support, love, prayers, understanding, empathy, sympathy, and compassion.

Believe it or not, I actually believe it’s worse to remain silent, than not to have the perfect magical words.

There have been times in my life when people didn’t know what to say, and maybe even fumbled over their words, or said very little. But I always appreciated that they were trying to love me in the midst of my hurting.

Things that are always good to say:

I’m sorry.

This must be so hard.

I’ve never been in your shoes but I’m here for you, even if that just means crying together.

Life is so hard.

I can’t wait until Heaven when there is no more trials or pain.

I’m praying for you.

Can we pray together right now?

I love you.

My heart is breaking for you.

I’d like to help with clothes, food, rides to treatment (whatever the needs are)

Saying nothing can leave the person feeling along, judged, embarrassed or ashamed.

And in the middle of someone hurting whether it’s self-induced or an unpredictable tragedy – it is very important how we respond.

Practical Application:

No matter what, when someone is opening up to me – SAY SOMETHING! Always respond. And always do it in love.

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2 Responses to “Always say something.”

  1. peacefulwife May 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    beautiful examples of healing and loving things to say! Thank you, Kayla!

  2. sharinghispeace May 10, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Amen! Thank you for sharing!

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