“For they will be comforted”. This is an awesome thing…for someone else to do. That’s what it can be like to those that are not used to dealing with emotions that are of the downer variety. I think of a scene from Father of The Bride when Steve Martin is talking about feeling helpless when consoling someone with a hanky. People don’t want to feel inept on the right words for someone that is distraught. Will they say the magic word that changes the mood like that? We wish so the crying can stop and everyone is happy. Isn’t that what life is about?
Well it’s not. Sometimes we need to carry someones burden to a good degree and accept the ugliness but we do not have to accept something unnatural. To comfort the broken hearted is to have compassion which comes from the Latin for “to suffer with”. But we can’t suffer with them unless we know their story or journey. And we won’t know that if we do not give them a hearing.
When people think of a hearing they think of stating your grievance in front of a stranger in a black robe. One rails on the injustice of what they have gone though and demand that the circumstance be made right circumstantially.
But life does not always work that way even when you are getting your hearing by God. Where we can be instruments of God in love is to listen. Maybe some follow up questions,but really it is about listening. We may have moments of insecurity of seeing someone sob or want to judge the person if there are things the person did wrong that inflicted consequences on themselves.
But such is not the calling of Christians. We are all called to be comforters because as followers of Jesus we are to be listening healers. No, we are not gods but the divine nature we partake of draws us to listen to people’s pain and stand in the gap by praying for them. To “bind up the broken hearted” is to hear, ideally, the whole story and then see the whole person.
If this divine time of being a counselor works out well, they will see themselves in totality or well along the way as how God created them. When we are broken we are dis-integrated of all the parts of ourselves. If we have an encounter that goes beyond faulty instruments like you and I reintegrated without as many insecurities.
But let not the comforter or comforted think that comfort is fixing. It is all about support in the process. I have by God’s grace a Masters in Social Work and I will never fix anybody. I am in a learning curve at work and life to listen and ask questions on how they can be their best and when the timing is right see about that seed of hope that things can get better.