This has been a bit of a rough week for my Mom. She picked up a stomach bug Sunday and hasn't been up to snuff all week. This is a strange thing to see here at our house as Mom is really a go, go, go sort of person. She walks her 4 miles on the treadmill every day, takes care of me and my Dad, fixes lunch and tries to get a little cleaning done in-between. She tried her best to keep to her usual routine , but it simply didn't work this week. She just felt too bad.
With all this going on Mom got a phone call from a special sister in her Sunday school class. It seems a very old and dear friend of my Mom's adult son killed himself. She immediately called to offer her condolences and to see if there was anything she could do to help.
This is when my Mom found out she was completely unprepared to offer any true words of comfort to her dear friend in her time of need. The only thing she could tell this heartbroken woman who had just lost her eldest son was, "We may never know why God allows the things to happen that happen in our lives, the only thing we do know is He is with us while we go through them".
With Mom being under the weather and not up for a 4 mile daily trot on the treadmill this week she had time to think about her inability to offer this woman any true words of comfort during her time of grief.
This lead Mom to remember the scripture Romans 12
“Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:9-15).
Weep with those that weep. That was what Mom focused on. Weeping with those that weep. Maybe, that was all she was supposed to have done... Simply weep with her friend.
In today's busy, keep to yourself, and avoiding any situations that might become "messy" lifestyle people don't really weep with those that are weeping anymore do they? You know what I mean don't you? Mom will be the first to tell you she and Dad try to not get "close" to many people for fear of the responsibilities that go with that closeness.
Here's the thing though friends, we're all one body in Christ. When one part grieves, the entire body is affected by the pain. This is clearly stated in
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
This is something Mom and I have been talking about this week and we've both had our little epiphanies. You see we dogs do indeed have empathy for each other and even other species when they are hurting either physically or emotionally. We show our concern with no reservations at what it may cost us in time, or effort. We simply show compassion to those that need it.
It's not the same with hoomans, they feel their lives are too busy, they don't have the time, the people may become "clingy." Please don't thing we're trying to shine a spot light on your or anyone's lives really. We're not. This is simply something Mom and I have talked about this week brought about by a friends loss and grief and how to respond to that in a Godly way.
We stumbled across a wonderful article on practical ways to weep with those that weep. We're going to share that here
3 Practical Ways to Weep with Those Who Weep (Click here to read this wonderful article). (1)
1. They came to the funeral.
2. They stocked our pantry.
3. They prayed like our friends.
This is the thing dear friends and furiends, if you read the 3 high points of the article posted above, the way you weep with those that weep is you let down your guard, you open your hearts and most of all you become their friends.
We can't be one body in Christ if we don't develop relationships, and yes, relationships are messy. They can become inconvenient and time consuming. They also can become rewarding, life enriching and most of all we're showing Christ to others, honestly isn't that what being a Christian is all about?
Mom has called her friend a couple of times and each time this lady has begged Mom to simply pray for her and her family. This is another key thing that's incredibly important, prayer.
Praying for one another is such a simple thing, yet very powerful. (2)" God gives us instructions to pray for others in several places in the Bible. The apostle James tells us to “pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
The apostle Paul encourages us to intercede for Church members and ministers, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
Paul exhorts us “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2,).
Jesus Christ even commanded, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, ).
"Why does God want us to pray for others? Because intercessory prayer reflects God’s own character of outgoing love and mercy. God wants us to think like He does, and praying for others helps us to think beyond ourselves and to grow in compassion for others."
1 Timothy 2:1
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
When we pray we are speaking to our Father, who longs to have a relationship with His children. When we pray for others, we are reflecting our Fathers heart back to him. He loves to see His children caring for and loving His and our family.
Jesus got personal with people when He was on this earth. He had relationships that got messy. He got involved anyway, because He was showing His people, His love, and His heart, and He ask us to pray for others, as He does.
I'd like to leave you with a quote I read in an article shared by my pastor on his FB page
(3) " However, in everything that is done, we need to make sure that Jesus is at the center. It is a also a reminder that there are hurting people sitting in your congregation. There are people whose marriages are crumbling, people whose finances are deteriorating, people whose children are rebelling and people, like me, whose husband has passed away after a brutal fight with cancer. And these people are not impressed with the stage lighting. They could care less about the coffee flavor. They don’t need to be pumped or hyped. They need and are desperate for Jesus."
(I'd encourage you to read the entire article here Your Church Needs This More Than a New Coffee Bar)
What I'd like to reiterate here is, There are people who need someone to be a friend, and keep them in prayer. Regardless to how" messy" a relationship might be.
Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].
We totally understand how difficult it is to open yourself up to all that goes with possibly becoming involved in others lives. Trust us we do, no one is more reserved or shy than my Mom, and she does enjoy a "quite routine life".
Sometimes, God wants us to step out of our comfort zone by simply doing His will, (getting involved in peoples lives) putting others and their needs before ourselves; and maybe in the process get a little messy by showing others Gods love, and compassion.
Love and Peace,
Molly and my Mom
Quotes and Links
(1) Practical Ways to Weep with Those Who Weep
(2) Intercessory Prayer: How Does God Want Us to Pray for Others?
(3) Your Church Needs This More Than a New Coffee Bar