Job's friends] sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
-Job 2:13 (NRSV)
IT is quite likely that most of us have had more than one occasion to worry about what to say to someone going through a crisis. How can we comfort the bereaved at a funeral or a child whose feelings have been hurt?
As caring friends and Christians, how do we minister to those who have lost their job, their home, their reputation? What can we say at such times? Sometimes words are inadequate.
When we are confronted by the unspeakable, we can accept the wisdom of God's word: In Ecclesiastes 3:7 we hear that there is "a time to keep silence, and a time to speak." In the story of Job we read of three friends who "sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great."
The Bible tells us that for God, too, there came a time when words -- even of the prophets -- were not enough. God became the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and embodied unimaginable love! By our presence, we too can embody God's love -- without saying a word.
Living Word, convey to us and through us comfort and hope when it seems there is nothing we can say. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Our presence says more than words can convey.
Someone who is suffering