Actions speak louder than words…

Last night my son received news that his friend’s father, who was battling cancer, had passed away.

As I read his status on facebook, there were certain phrases that caught my eye; how surreal the situation was, unfinished promises, asking for God’s peace.

I thought back to when our good friend Bob died. Jim and I were in a bible study with him and his wife, Nancy, and several other couples. It was such a shock to have him with us one day and gone the next…no warning, just gone.

I remember sitting outside the emergency room doors after we got the news that he had passed. Although there were other church members and friends present, our group had gathered in one place to ourselves. Someone said, “This is so surreal; it just can’t be happening!”

Years before that, my brother committed suicide. I remember thinking… this can’t be happening…it must be a dream…why can’t I wake up?

Loss of a loved one, whether after a long illness or a sudden loss, drops us into a dreamlike state of being. Other losses, like divorce or losing a job, can have the same effect on us. What do we say or do to comfort those who are experiencing a loss in their life? What words of encouragement can we offer?

When my brother died, I remember. The well-meaning people who had the clichés, “It was God’s will”  or “I know how you feel” or “He’s in a better place”. I had one lady stand beside me and ask who found him!

But there was also few people who stood out to me, not for their words, but for their actions.

One lady cleaned and did laundry at our house while we were at the funeral. My husband’s family took care of our young children and many brought food to our home. But one lady stands out in my mind…a lady from our church named Susie.

I knew Susie from church, but not well. She’d never met my brother or any of the rest of my family outside my husband and sons. But Susie came to the funeral home during the visitation and quietly sat beside me for hours. I don’t remember her saying a word. I just remember drawing strength and comfort from her presence. 

St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel always; when necessary use words.”

Do you know someone who is facing a loss today? What words of comfort would you offer to them? What actions can you take to help ease their burden? How can you be the hands and feel of Christ.

I Peter 4:10 says, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” What gift do you have that ease someone else’s suffering?

2 thoughts on “Actions speak louder than words…

  1. Wanted to leave a word of encouragement for you. Your writing is great and I will be back to read more, if I can I’ll put you in my google reader so I will have it there when I check out the rest of the blogs I follow. Decolores!


  2. I have to reply to this one. Losing my mom on New Years Eve threw me into a tailspin. I watched her take a breath, and then a long pause before she took another. Finally, it was a very long pause and I asked my niece if she’d taken one without me seeing it. No, she had gone home, to be with Jesus, my dad who she missed every minute of every day for the past 7 years, and her best friend, Mary. There are many others that had gone on before her too. She was the last of her family, and of that generation. All the cousins have gone on as well. She had very few friends left as well. Those who were left are too feeble to visit her, or even call.

    You are so right about feeling dreamlike, going through all the motions of getting things ready for the funeral and then the funeral itself. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the 5 hours visitation if it had not been for my cousins. They are actually my 2nd cousins. Our moms had been double first cousins and closer than sisters. Faye, Darrell and his girlfriend, Sandy all sat with me and talk, told stories and just enjoyed each other’s company.

    I love your writing. It makes me think about how God works in my life. We all need to notice those things.


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