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The people that had to talk, they bothered me. My sister was dying, and later died, of a cancer that created hundreds and hundreds of tumors in her spine and long bones. She suffered continuous, deep, aching pain.
I could barely keep control of my feelings, and they forced me to paste on that pained fake smile, the one you have to wear when good people try to help you. But don’t, because they can’t. The chatty ones offered what they thought were Deep Words of Comfort, when no words beyond “I’m sorry” or “I’m praying” or “I’ve been there” helped.
Predators - Sadness - Chance - Man - Home
Some of them I came to recognize as grief predators. My sadness they took as a chance to play wise man. And then go home and tell everyone how much they helped me. Others genuinely wanted to help and thought they had something to say.
I learned something from standing at the back of the church after the funeral, with the pasted on smile. I’ve been just as chatty as they were. I was the man with the answers. I’ve written about this here. What did I learn? Just. Shut. Up.
Something - Christlike - Christlike - Jesus - Neighbor
Why do I mention this? It tells us something about being Christlike, for those of us who aren’t very Christlike. Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He pushed the point hard. “As you did to the least of these,” he says, “so you did to me.” An encouragement for some, a three-alarm fire warning for others.
Jesus Himself did this. We see His empathy for people all through the gospels. He knows what we go through, because He became one of us. The Apostle Paul tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep. Hebrews tells us that in Him we have a high priest who...
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