07 May 2009

A Community of Believers

My MIL called looking for encouragement. Its been a hard week for her, watching my once-burly FIL lose weight after having his entire stomach removed to clean out a cancer. I told her what came to my mind from the outside of the situation-- first, its 'only' been 2 weeks. Also, he has to adjust to the new reality of his life- he has to mourn what he thought his life would be. And last, to call the oncologist and ask 'what's the line between adjustment period and personal danger' regarding his vomiting and lack of calorie intake? While I was still fumbling for something to say, she brightened up and said "Thanks, I'd lost perspective" and hung up. Cool! I'd encouraged her! It brought to mind the lyrics I was on the floor for last week (tears running up over my eyebrows kind of on the floor). Here is a taste of Casting Crowns' song Love Them Like Jesus from their Lifesong CD that gives advice to those who are listening to the problems of a friend:

So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them, and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus

That's what we should do when we are asked for comfort or advice-- not fumble for something to say, but, like Elizabeth George, ask God what to say (usually nothing) and lacking a clear answer, just 'stay by their side.' I know I was extremely comforted by friends who instead of giving me their opinion, just sat with me in silent commiseration. "I love you, and I'm sad this is happening to you." means alot.


Anonymous said...

That's what I'm talking about! She just loved me like Jesus did. And I know that every time I'm feeling sad and confused over the dysfunction this "cancer" and "lack of stomach" has brought into our lives, I know that I can call this lovely DIL and get ramble on and on and cry and receive only love and comfort from a devoted Christian. This wonderful lady does not criticize me or say hurtful things to get me to stop "whining". She listens and responds with fearless grace and love. I just have to say THANK YOU to our gracious Lord and Savior for leading her.
I love you!