“When Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place... They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.” ~ (Job 2:11-13)
Three Observances of Presence
2. There is powerful ministry through presence.
Anyone who knows the entire story of Job knows that as soon as the men opened their mouths, trouble ensued. There is much wisdom in not speaking. Sometimes our mere presence during a time of grief is all that is needed. Too many times we struggle for the right words and phrases, “It’ll all be better soon,” or “They’re in a better place now,” does not bring solace, but the reality that a loved one is gone. As well, the words, “God’s in control,” are true, but during the initial time of shock and grief, they may cause a questioning and blame on God. The right response may just be—none.
2. Compassion is evidenced by our physical and emotional appearance.
While words at the right time can bring healing and comfort, it is better to allow people to see your compassion than hear about it. It is widely known that 80% of a conversation consists in the non-verbal (i.e our eyebrow movement, tears, posture, hands, etc.). This means our gestures, motions, and/or non-movement speaks volumes. During someone’s time of grief it is better to illustrate compassion by your presence; for mainly, that is what the person is seeking. Tears and a hug from the support person far outweigh any words.
3. Presence is evidence of provision.
Nothing demonstrates the providing of support better than your presence. When we show up during someone’s time of grief and hurting, this is an example that we care. This simple act states, “I am here with you…I support you now.” This will be an everlasting memory, not what you said.