No Words

As soon as I approached my friend, who I will call Hazel, sitting in the corner of the room, I could see that she was very upset about something. I sat down beside her and waited and listened. Soon the story came tumbling out, her hairdresser’s best friend had a daughter who had just committed suicide. She had been an only child and had left two children of her own behind.

What could I say? There were many Christian platitudes that I could have shared. It was time for one of my ‘arrow’ prayers. ‘Lord, what do I say to this unhappy woman?’ i didn’t hear an audible voice from God but I had the overriding impression that He wanted me to say nothing. I obeyed and beyond saying ‘I’m so sorry.’ I didn’t utter another word.

I don’t know whether Hazel actually knew this woman, or whether it was only by association, but she was grieving. I sat with her for a long time. There would be other times to witness to my faith, but this was not one of them. My job was my silence and my private prayer.