I am a compassionate person, but sometimes I say really stupid things to people who are hurting.  I don’t intend for my words to be stupid, but it happens.  A neighbor of ours lost her precious 4 year old son in a car accident several years ago.  I was still new in my faith and I only had bits and pieces of it figured out – so I tried to connect the dots on my own.

I don’t recommend that.
If you *think* you have it figured out but you aren’t 100% sure, you might want to check with someone who has been on their journey a little longer than you have just to be certain you aren’t creating a donkey with your connect-the-dots art.  Know what I’m sayin?

The good news is that our neighbor knew that I was genuinely hurting for her and her family.  I cried… often (and ugly) for this family.  She recently told me that it’s indeed hard to know what to say when someone is brokenhearted, but this morning I came across this scripture in a book study I am doing and I think that instead of trying to find just the right thing to say next time, I might just quote the scripture in the picture above.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Because He is.
He is close to the brokenhearted.

He shows up in family members who come running to be by your side.
He speaks through the countless cards and texts and emails you receive.
He works through the hands of those who come clean your house.
He loves through the hearts who care for your children when you are unable to.
He shows compassion through the meals and groceries that start showing up at your house.

I can’t answer the age-old question of “why”… WHY is this happening?  What did that happen?  Why is God doing this? – because as Jen Hatmaker (you know, my best friend) posted recently, the WHY could be any number of things depending upon the situation… and even then, we aren’t God and we don’t have all the answers.  And this is why we need faith.

We need faith, and we need to connect the dots on our own on a regular basis so that we can SEE God in action — but not the dots I first mentioned.  Instead, connect the dots of who shows up as His representative, who speaks with His loving voice, who allows Him to work through their hands, who loves with a heart like His, and who shows you compassion just as He did for countless people in the 3 short years that he ministered to others on this earth.

That’s your Lord.
That’s how much He loves you.
He is close.
Closer than you think.

(Thanks to my precious friend Anne who shared her inspiring idea of “God Dots” with me this summer – you can see more of her God Dot inspiration by following her here or here.)

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