“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
A dear friend of mine just lost her sister and my heart breaks for her. She went on Facebook and shared her sorrows in several posts. It was clear her pain was tremendous. It just happened and suddenly my friend was thrust into the throat of grief. Choking back the pain she spilled her heart for all to witness.
My spirit was hard pressed.
I read the comments from other friends and from her family. Everyone trying to encourage her and expressing their deepest sympathies. What do you say to someone who just lost a loved one? What if you can’t be there to give a hug, or offer a kind word, what do you do for them?
Do you go on Facebook and express your sympathy?
I did offer my condolences, but I felt it wasn’t enough. I wondered what else I could do for my friend. I said a prayer for her and her family.
I didn’t know her sister, but I know about grief. I know about loss.
What could I say to her to offer her words of encouragement? I was at a loss for words. I saw her posts about death and about how much she loved her sister. I read her comments about the missed opportunities she now regrets. I hurt for her and still I didn’t say a word.
I know that no words can bring her sister back yet I wish I could offer her some confident reassurances. I don’t know where her sister was in her faith. So all I did was pray. I asked God to give me the words that could encourage my friend, then I read Matthew 11:28-30. God is ready to comfort her and provide rest for her soul.
The next day, I read this quote from Alyson Noel. Taken from her novel, Evermore, it says, “I guess by now I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone-you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence.”
It opened my eyes. I will share these passages with my friend. I pray this will encourage her as she goes in the days ahead without her loved one.