Understanding Grieving People
Author: Kelly Packard
November 17, 2021
Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by men, a
man of sorrows and acquainted with grief...”
There have been thousands upon thousands of books written
about grief and the grieving process. Suffice it to say, then, that this short
blog will represent a miniscule aspect of an uncapturable subject. Yet the
words within this blog have been gained from personal experience in the
trenches of grief, wisdom from professional grief counselors, caregiving
training here at Faith (Stephen Ministry), and experience walking alongside
others in deep grief.
Life in the trenches of grief has yielded many things that
shed fractional light on understanding grieving people. This blog will
focus on one specific thing grieving people desire to be understood: the
Scripture is not an anesthetic for the pain. The pain is REAL. The pain is a
representation of brokenness. Brokenness causes deep pain. Concurrently with
that seemingly harsh statement, is complete reverence for the Holy Word and acknowledgement
that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful (2 Timothy 3:16). Fact: We still
feel pain. The Scriptures are living and active (Hebrews 4:12). They comfort,
renew hope, strengthen our faith, and point us to our Savior acquainted with
grief. Jesus. The Scriptures are Divinely inspired by God. Yet, we still feel the
Scripture IS God-breathed and absolute Truth. But not
an anesthetic for the pain. What then is the beautiful place for Scripture when
interacting with grieving people?
Point them to the Man Of Sorrows. Point them to the One acquainted with grief. He
is The Word. It’s His Presence that can absorb pain and anguish upon Himself.
It’s His ability to speak directly to our spirit. He alone is qualified. He
anguished with drops of blood. He took on the cross. His physical body
experienced the fullness of pain. Yet he also carried the weight of mans’ sin
and the separation from His Father. He felt incomprehensible pain. The Man of
Sorrows. The One Acquainted with grief. He gets down into the darkest trenches
How else do we walk alongside those grieving? Quietly.
When prompted by the Holy Spirit, use words.
Verbally acknowledge the pain and anguish. Enter the situation knowing you
aren’t the answer.
In most situations, grieving people know you can’t fix the cause of their
grief. They don’t want or need trite answers or empty hope. Faith has an
amazing care ministry that provides training to equip others to come alongside
grieving people. Stephen Ministry trains caregivers to be present in the pain
without the responsibility to fix the pain. Stephen Ministry caregivers point care
receivers to the Curegiver, Jesus.
Those coming alongside others in deep grief benefit from embracing
the inadequacy of our self-inspired words. If words are needed, we need Holy
Spirit guided words.
I resonate with these thoughts from Sarah Young in Jesus
“You need the help of My Spirit to respond appropriately.
Ask Him to think through you, live through you, love through you. If you
respond to others’ needs through your unaided thought processes, you offer them
Let His Spirit allow us to offer Living Water. There’s an invitation
from our Suffering Savior for grief-caused thirst. Here His words.
John 7:37 “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”
Living Water from the Man of Sorrows. A Divinely adequate supply. Not dry crumbs.
Trust the Living Water inside of you to create the adequacy
to come alongside the grief.
John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture
has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Now this he said
about the Spirit.....”
Understanding grieving people is complex. The Man of
Sorrows, the One acquainted with grief, our Suffering Savior. He knows. Praises
for His provision of Living Water.