I have come to dislike pat answers. Things that people say that sound "right" but robotic.
Like they themselves don't really believe it but it sounds like what they are supposed to think.
Let me just interject that I have from time to time been guilty of this.
I think it's mostly out of fear.
Fear that if I say what I really think I may be rejected.
Fear that I may offend God.
Fear that I may cause someone to spiral off into a deep dark hole if I don't think up something encouraging to say, quickly!
Unfortunately I think we the Church are particularly good at "Pat's".
We want to encourage each other.
We want to be positive and say things like "it will all work out".
But the truth is...Sometimes it doesn't.
Sometimes we experience great loss and at those very tender times we don't need to hear someone say..."all things work together for good to those who love God."
However true the words may be. Sometimes they may sound like a clangy gong if my heart is broken.
Instead maybe we could say....
"I can't understand God. I'm not going to pretend like I do. I don't get why this is happening to you. I know that you have experienced a sorrow so deep it feels like you won't ever be okay again. All I can say is, I don't understand it! And I feel sorrow with you!
How about you and I go to God together and ask him to show us the way through this."
Sometimes people aren't always ready to even go to God because of the anger they have.
Sometimes they need our faith to carry them.
Not our well meaning one liners.
So this is a reminder to myself today...God wants me to care for people. Not try to be the great physician...instead show them the way to him. He is after all the true healer!
And besides....Let's face it he's the only one with all the answers!