It’s been about 17 years or so since my neighbor and friend Debbie, left her deposit of wise words on my heart while simultaneously depositing dye on my newly graying sprouts.
Debbie took care of my family’s hair needs…. well, mostly mine. Occasionally hubby (David) and at least one of the kids would follow me.
One time when David was getting his hair cut, my youngest son Aaron, who was waiting his turn, innocently made a comment about his daddy’s head.
He remarked matter of factly, “Dad, you’re balding. Soon there won’t be anything to cut”
David shot him back a perturbed look to which Debbie quickly interjected her wisdom for the day.
“Aaron, don’t ever tell someone something they already know.”
Some words don’t need to be said.
This truth is one I had to find out for myself for I’m quite sure (unmeaningly) I’ve been the worst offender.
I’ve dealt with anxiety off and on, in some form or fashion most of my life. When I’m in a hard season people love to quote me Philippians 4:6.
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer petition and thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”
I know this verse. I’ve memorized this verse. I believe the truth tucked deep inside this verse. However, the last thing I want to hear when I’m crawling out of my skin are the words from Philippines 4:6. It’s as if speaking to me something I already know will somehow magically make all the angst go away. To which I say…
Some words just don’t need to be said.
It’s the same thing when tragedy strikes—when you’re dealing with a fresh loss.
I’ve had friends tell me the worse thing their well-meaning friends can say is,
“You know God will work this all out for the good.”
When waves of despair are crashing over you, crushing your spirit, starving your soul of light, the last thing you want to hear is how much better things will be… later.
You just want to grieve and you want your friends to be quiet and grieve with you, for you.
No words needed.
Because, some words don’t need to be said.
Job’s friends knew this.
By chapter 2 of the book of Job, its main character (Job), has lost everything. In chapter 1, Satan has been given permission by God to strike Job to make it clear to Satan that Job is a righteous man and will not turn against God. Job has lost all his wealth, his children have been killed and now he has been stricken with sores all over his body. He is mentally and physically miserable. His three friends hear about his calamity and decide together to come comfort him.
Verses 12-13 of chapter 2 says, “When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. The they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how great he was suffering.”
- They see him from a distance and recognize his condition.
- They outwardly mourn for him.
- They show their solidarity by tearing their clothes and putting dust on their heads.
- They don’t utter a word but rather they sit with him.
For seven days and seven nights they love Job in silence.
Because Job didn’t need to hear what he already knew.
Their reaction and how they took action is a noteworthy example for us to follow.
Because some words just don’t need to be said.
They simply need to be felt.
Looking forward, pressing on and seeking God in every bump and twist in the road.