March 8, 2021

Job 2:13

And they [Job’s three friends] sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

 

I’ve always been amused (and a bit astounded) at today’s verse. In the midst of Job’s misery his friends came and sat with him for seven entire days before saying anything. Seven days! I’m not sure I could do seven minutes. But what a beautiful picture to always keep in front of us.

I remember attending a prayer meeting decades ago when I was in a sad, weary mood. I don’t recall the circumstances, but I remember feeling very down that day. I was defeated, frustrated and lost. It was a feeling I think we all know from time to time – when nothing seems to go right, answers are not clear, God seems far away and hope is hard to muster.

There’s only one thing I really remember clearly from that meeting, and that was my friend Brad. I sat on the floor, in the usual circle of people praying, my head down. Brad was walking around the group when I heard him pause behind me. He must have looked at me for a moment, then he knelt and placed his hand on my shoulder. He squeezed it warmly, just for a moment or two, then he stood again and moved on.

I am quite sure Brad does not remember that moment. But I sure do.

It’s hard to describe exactly what that touch meant to me at that moment, but it still brings tears to my eyes more than thirty years later. Brad never said a word, but his simple gesture spoke volumes. With just a squeeze he comforted me and seemed to say, “I see you are heavy tonight, my friend, and I’m sorry you are hurting. I love you. I care about you. And I am here.”

Brad didn’t give me any fancy gift or nice surprise that night. He didn’t provide any answers, wisdom or solutions. He never said a single word! But his one simple expression of love spoke volumes.  And it was exactly what I needed. 

Who do you know who is hurting today? Who is suffering in some way in your family or community who needs a touch? Your action doesn’t have to be ingenious, witty or creative – in fact it doesn’t have to be much at all! All you need to communicate is that you care, and that you are here. Reach out today with a text, a call, an email or just a gentle touch! You never know what salve you might bring to a wounded soul.

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