When we see the ones we love the most hurting it’s natural to want to comfort them.

In fact, we would do just about anything to bring some solace to their soul.

But we often find ourselves feeling helpless as we search for the right words to say in order to help.

Here’s the thing . . . 

Sometimes there are genuinely no words needed in these situations.

Because there are times when there are no words can actually help.

The “ministry of presence” is so real, and can be so powerful.

Sitting with people in their pain is sometimes the only thing that will help them.

You can’t fix their heartache, but they will know that someone sees them in the darkness, and cares enough to sit in the darkness with them.

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They will know their pain isn’t too big of a burden for you to be near them.

In the book of Job, after he lost so much, three friends come find him in horrible condition.

They weep when they see Job because of how terrible he looked, and how deep his grief was.

For seven days, his friends sit with him.

In quiet.

Just being there, just being present.

This is an incredibly beautiful picture of what it looks like to be there for someone in their grief.

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Unfortunately, his friends start trying to make sense of his loss and grief.

That’s where it gets ugly.

We need to let people feel without jumping in to tell them what’s happening, why it’s happening or how it could have gone differently (or to look at the bright side . . . please, please don’t do this to someone who is grieving, it’s so invalidating).

There is a time and place to speak truth and speak life into someone.

But when they are in the thick of new grief, they may not be able to receive those words, and they may end up feeling more hurt.

RELATED: You Don’t Have to Justify Grief

God doesn’t ask us to fix their pain.

But He did give us a body so that we could be present.

Arms to hold someone.

Shoulders to cry on.

There will come a time, down the road, when your words may be the light and life that they need.

Let them decide when they are ready.

And know that you’re an awesome friend for even caring about how to help.

When they look back on this storm they’re in, it might just be your presence they remember helping them.

Originally published on Kelli Bachara 

Grief is messy and can feel so lonely. It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a great read for anyone who is grieving or supporting a loved one through grief. Don’t have time to read? You can listen here, on Audible.

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Kelli Bachara

Kelli Bachara is a wife and mom to two sweet kiddos. She is a mental health therapist, writer, and podcaster. Kelli loves her Goldendoodle, coffee, and this beautiful thing called life. You can find her at www.kellibachara.com.