James 2:14-17 says, ” What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Grieving is a process. It’s a very lengthy process in which one has their ups and downs. The hurt or loss is a wound and wounds bleed.
As I went through my process, I wanted to shout to the world to pay attention. I wanted them to see my pain and take it from me. Most didn’t want to hear it, but offered to pray. Some listened. As a Christian, I didn’t have it altogether. I didn’t want to go to church wearing a plastic smile and pretend everything was okay. The questions were the worst. People, even those with the best of intentions, asked questions. Some gave me sound advice. Others made assumptions based on the side they heard. Everyone it seemed had an answer.
Sheila Walsh said how the poison needs to be bled from the wound. Your grief needs an outlet. Not everyone is willing to help carry your tears. Most will offer prayers, but keep a distance as if your grief is catching somehow. The prayers are powerful, helpful even, but the person grieving needs to know what you went through when you grieved. They don’t need platitudes. They don’t need cliches. They don’t need your advice.
They need your honesty, your shoulder, and your silence.
I survived as God grew my faith through my pain. Pain causes you to sink into scripture, but not everyone will hold tightly to their faith. Sometimes the wrong reaction or the anger can be the catalyst to make the grieving break away from their church family. As a church family, we, in our dysfunction, need to cover our grieving in hugs and support. We need to be willing to hear their shouts, be there with our honesty, and sometimes eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with them.
Are you grieving? How can I pray for you?