When Ruins Sing...

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

My Day 6 of 500 Words: “Listen, don’t Lecture, out of Love”

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So 2015 marched on…

The book of Job spoke to me. How do we wrap our hearts and minds around undeserved pain and suffering?

Job is at rock bottom.  He has lost his wealth, health and children.

Job is crying out in pain. His grief is overwhelming.  His wife begins to tire of his wailing and tells him to, “Curse God, and die.” (Job 2:9)

Well now, she is just the precious picture of a supportive wife isn’t she.  She is the wind beneath his wings-NOT!

It looks as if Job will receive some support in his despair.  His posse arrives.  His good old boys show up to just sit with him in his loss and pain.

That is good!

Have you ever experienced that? Have you been at rock bottom and had friends simply give you the gift of presence?  If so, you know.

That is good!

A word of advice here:  If you ever have the opportunity to sit with a grieving friend, do not take these moments for granted.  Cherish them.  They are a tremendous gift entrusted to you and they will speak comfort, peace and love for eternity.

Learn from Job’s friends in the beginning, when they simply showed up but shut up.

That is good!

The story is about to take a turn for the worse.

As Job’s grief intensifies, his buddies begin to get irritated.

**Life Application Alert:

When irritated, do not speak!  When irritated, it may be best to remove ourselves from the situation and return only when we can reenter through the lens of grace.

I have learned along the way, that the saddest or the sickest person in the room gets to dictate the mood.  If they are laughing and making joke, we too get to join in the fun fest.  If they are crying, complaining, angry or confused, we sit with, love and listen, while praying silently to hear and see through the filter of the Holy Spirit.  Speak little, if at all.

Back to the story.

 Job’s good old boys decide it is time to chime in. (Big mistake!)

Job proceeds to get a lecture from each of his buddies.  They deem it necessary to give their evaluation of Job’s predicament and they feel they are justified in doing so.

(**If we are justifying, then we are “just there” to prove a point.  If we show up to point fingers, then there is no point in us showing up–Just saying!)

Somewhere along the way, they forgot:

 their presence was the gift, not their perceived wisdom,

their empathy, not evaluation,

their encouragement, not discouragement,

their broken-heartedness, not the blame game,

their love not a lecture.

Do you remember any lectures that have made you better, changed your behavior, eased your mind or brought you joy in the midst of pain and suffering?

I do not.

I can, however, remember countless times when friends or family showed up, sat with me, cried with me, listened to me, hugged me, and loved me unconditionally, in a mess that I had created myself or a heartbreak brought on by someone else.  I can honestly say that those who simply gave me the gift of presence loved me wholeheartedly in either scenario.   I guess that is what unconditional means.

The book of Job concludes with Job praying for his crappy (sorry but it is true!) friends, and in praying for them, he is set free.  God responds to that prayer by restoring all that Job lost plus MORE!

Job’s story is a treasure chest.  These are the golden nuggets I am leaving with and leaving for you:

*Show up when someone is hurting.

*Wives, it is not our job to keep our husbands humble.  The world is going to huff and puff and try to blow our men down, but may we truly be the wind beneath their wings.  We should be their biggest comfort and cheerleader.

*Lean in and listen.

*Pray before we speak and when in doubt, keep a lid on it!

*Let the saddest or sickest in the room dictate the mood.  Just roll with them.

*Pray for those who hurt us, not because what they did was right but because it sets us free.

*My God is a God of restoration and abundance.

*Do not lecture in an attempt to comfort or to bring about life transformation in another.  Lectures may transfer information but they can not empathize with or cause someone to be changed from the inside out-

BUT LOVE CAN!

About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel Forgiven and Free Living a life that says: COME AND SEE!

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