Around the cor­ner..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

EX­PLOR­ERS opened an Egyp­tian tomb closed for three thou­sand years. There stood the exquisitely carved cof­fin of a lit­tle child with this in­scrip­tion: “Oh, my life, my love, my lit­tle one. Would God I had died for thee!”

In­stinc­tively the men un­cov­ered their heads, re­sealed the tomb and left. Even af­ter cen­turies they felt the over­pow­er­ing, heart break­ing an­guish of the griev­ing par­ent who had penned those lines.

Lately I’ve be­ing see­ing pic­tures of fam­i­lies dev­as­tated by bomb blasts that have taken away a loved one; I watch their de­spair and grief as in­con­solable fa­thers and moth­ers hold life­less chil­dren in their arms and oth­ers search de­bris for fam­ily mem­ber, and feel the ut­ter ab­so­lute hope­less­ness around.

What is it you and I can do to com­fort them? Au­thor Joe Bayly, who had lost three sons through a tragic ac­ci­dent, de­scribed two ex­am­ples of com­fort he had re­ceived dur­ing his deep­est grief:

‘Some­one came and talked to me of God’s deal­ings, of why it hap­pened, of hope be­yond death. He talked con­stantly and said things I knew were true. I was un­moved ex­cept to wish he’d go away. He fi­nally did.’ ‘An­other came and sat be­side me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask lead­ing ques­tions. He just sat be­side me for an hour and more, lis­tened when I said some­thing, an­swered briefly, prayed sim­ply, and left. I was moved, I was com­forted. I hated to see him go!” A lit­tle girl came home form a neigh­bour’s house where her lit­tle friend had died. “Why did you go?” ques­tioned the wor­ried fa­ther.

“To com­fort the mother,” replied the girl. “What could you my lit­tle one, do to com­fort her?” asked her fa­ther. “I climbed into her lap and cried with her!” A trans­la­tor labour­ing amongst a tribe in moun­tains of Mex­ico found it hard to get the right word for ‘com­fort’.

One day his helper asked for a week’s leave and ex­plained that his un­cle had died and he wanted some day’s off to visit his be­reaved aunt, ‘to help her heart around cor­ner.’ That was just the ex­pres­sion trans­la­tor needed. It is not plat­i­tudes and words peo­ple need. They need us to silently grieve with them. It is not politi­cian rhetoric they want to hear, nor empty prom­ises of com­pen­sa­tion.

What we can give them to­day in si­lence are our also griev­ing hearts, griev­ing with them for ter­ri­ble woe that has swept, smashed loved lives away. Reach out and touch and weep with them and pray God’s com­fort will aid them through these times.

Words of in­sight, gems of guid­ance May help when some­one’s in a test But times when com­fort is what’s needed Our silent pres­ence may be the best. Let’s help their hearts around the cor­ner..! — Email:bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

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