When people hurt, do you notice? I want to get better at being aware and fully present. I don't want to turn away or walk away. And I want people's pain to affect me. What about you? Are you good at this? Are you able to feel people's pain? Willing to feel it? Prepared to feel it?
There's so much pain. It feels like it's everywhere sometimes. Much of the time. I ache, and sometimes I don't want to. It's hard because I wish I could just fix things. Fix people.
What can we do? What should we do?
The Book of Job Is Helpful
My pastor is teaching from Job during his Wednesday Bible study. He chose the book for us to study because of a corresponding sermon series about pain and suffering.
This is truth he shared while talking about a section of chapter 2. I want to remember this. I want to do this. Be this.
"Meet people at their emotion before trying to move them through the emotion."
So I need just to wait. Feel. Be present. Because it's not about me being uncomfortable. It's about people getting comfortable. And in their own time.
In the context of my pastor's teaching, this applies to people's pain. Hurt. Heartache. Brokenness. Does this concept work when people are experiencing joy? It's the same truth. Absolutely!
If I'm not others-centered and fully present to joyful people around me, I can be guilty of wanting them to push through their joy. Get to the other side, people! Enough of this happiness!
It's true. I'm a thinker before I'm a feeler, so sometimes lots of laughter and joy makes me uncomfortable. I don't know what to do. If I'm not careful, I'll say something or ask something because I want people to move from their emotions to their thoughts.
But it's not about me being comfortable. It's about others not being uncomfortable. It's about people being. Just being.
Romans 12:15 is relevant. I'm grateful the Holy Spirit brings it to my mind often.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep."
So look at this next verse. Wow! Job shares it after his "friends" start the long debate with him about why he is suffering.
I need this instruction. The world needs this instruction. I pray it may bless you today. Let's act on it.
"A despairing man should be shown kindness from his friend, or he forsakes the fear of the Almighty" (Job 6:14).
Dr. Kathy Koch is the author of Screens & Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in A Wireless World.
This article originally appeared at drkathykoch.com.
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