In the Bible we read in the book of Job the amazing and sometimes troubling story of Job’s trials and ultimate redemption. But I want to touch on Job’s friends.
Job was suffering like anyone who had experienced tragic loss. All of his children had died. He lost his wealth and his health. He was suffering PTSD. His wife, also mourning, offered no help. And in come Job’s three friends.
Let me point out something about this story. First, when the friends arrive they are shocked by what they see. They are moved by Job’s mourning. They even join with him for seven days. And the whole time the friends of Job said nothing.
But everything changed when the friends began to speak. Why? Because they could not resist the urge to try to fix Job. To point out to him what his problem was and to speak for God to fix Job’s “obvious” problems. they broke every rule in the book of what not to say or do to someone in the throes of grieving.
People experiencing the shock of loss and death are not sick. They are grieving and mourning. They need your support. They need you to sit with them. They do not need you to fix them.
We all can learn a lesson for this story on several levels. But when it comes to grieving, be kind to those whose lives have been torn in pieces by grief.