RESPONSE IN TIMES OF CALAMITY

Response in Times of Calamity

What practical response can we give to those experiencing loss? Here are five things we should not do in seasons of grief:

• Don’t compare. When someone tells you their pain, don’t bring up yours.
• Don’t complain. Do not suggest to someone who has just lost everything that you lost anything.
• Don’t answer. Folks want to vent and rage; your reply should be silence.
• Don’t leave. Nothing replaces physical presence.
• Don’t critique. People cry, scream, swear, etc.; ditch your sensitivities.

There are five helpful responses to practice when friends face tragedy:

• Show up. Be with people who are hurting today, next week, next year.
• Stay up. Friends in pain can’t sleep; darkness alone is doubly hard.
• Shut up. Keep pious platitudes to yourself.
• Pay up. Take out your wallet and pay the tab—your friend will appreciate it, even if they don’t say so.
• Keep up. Lose your schedule, routine, and expectations; be available for your friends in crisis.

Throughout history, catastrophes of various kinds have often been the start of religious revivals. While this may be good news, it does not console us at the time. But history can alter our view of the future. The history of Jesus’ suffering—the greatest catastrophe in human history— gives us the greatest change through His salvation (Heb. 2:14-18). Jesus’ suffering shows God’s ultimate care for human hurt. He remembers, and He wants to use us to bring comfort to those who are hurting around us.

—excerpt from a devotional in Joni Earekson Tada’s Beyond Suffering edition of NLT Bible

What practical response can we give to those experiencing loss? Here are five things we should not do in seasons of grief:

• Don’t compare. When someone tells you their pain, don’t bring up yours.
• Don’t complain. Do not suggest to someone who has just lost everything that you lost anything.
• Don’t answer. Folks want to vent and rage; your reply should be silence.
• Don’t leave. Nothing replaces physical presence.
• Don’t critique. People cry, scream, swear, etc.; ditch your sensitivities.

There are five helpful responses to practice when friends face tragedy:

• Show up. Be with people who are hurting today, next week, next year.
• Stay up. Friends in pain can’t sleep; darkness alone is doubly hard.
• Shut up. Keep pious platitudes to yourself.
• Pay up. Take out your wallet and pay the tab—your friend will appreciate it, even if they don’t say so.
• Keep up. Lose your schedule, routine, and expectations; be available for your friends in crisis.

Throughout history, catastrophes of various kinds have often been the start of religious revivals. While this may be good news, it does not console us at the time. But history can alter our view of the future. The history of Jesus’ suffering—the greatest catastrophe in human history— gives us the greatest change through His salvation (Heb. 2:14-18). Jesus’ suffering shows God’s ultimate care for human hurt. He remembers, and He wants to use us to bring comfort to those who are hurting around us.

—excerpt from a devotional in Joni Earekson Tada’s Beyond Suffering edition of NLT Bible