Comfort The Afflicted

Week 2 | Spiritual Work of Mercy

Blessed be . . . the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Reflection

By Lisa Brenninkmeyer

Affliction comes in many forms. We don’t wear our heartache as visible, outward wounds, but we all know how much pain is out there. In the midst of a sin-saturated world, people need to know that they matter, that their pain matters, that they are seen. It’s been said that suffering that feels senseless is the hardest to bear. When that is compounded by a feeling that the pain must be carried alone, despair can quickly set in. But what a difference the presence of a comforter can make. We can’t answer all the questions about the suffering, but we can say, “I see it. And most important, I see you. I won’t let this pain swallow you or overwhelm you.

This is the call to the body of Christ. We are to surround one another, to press into one another’s pain, to offer the gift of our presence. Sometimes sitting silently alongside someone is the best gift we can give. Sometimes it’s making a meal. Sometimes advice is truly helpful. The important thing is that we show up. That we slow down enough to notice the pain in someone’s eyes. That we ask questions, and then wait for the answers. There is no Christmas present under the tree that will have the kind of life-changing impact that the gift of our comforting presence offers.

Excerpt taken from Chapter 8 of Beautiful Mercy. Get your free copy of the book (just pay shipping).

Focus

Everybody is going through something. Sometimes they need a hug. Sometimes they just need someone to listen. Sometimes they need a shoulder to cry on. Will you be that friend?

Act

Take the time to ask someone this week, “How are you?” Then simply listen.

Pray

Lord, open our eyes to see the invisible wounds people carry. Help us to look through grace-healed eyes that search deeper, that pause, that step closer when an aching heart is near.

QUESTION

How can you give the gift of presence?


MORE REFLECTIONS