The Ministry of Presence

Job (rhymes with robe) buried ten children in a single day. He suffered so terribly he wanted to die.

His story is found in the Old Testament book bearing his name.

It was customary in those days for friends to come and sit in silence with those who were grieving.  To weep with them. To hurt with them.  I call this the “ministry of presence.”

And this is precisely what Job’s friends did – for seven straight days.

But then they started talking, and everything went downhill from there. 

Why is it we always feel like we need to offer sermonettes , cliches, the “let me help explain why God allowed this to happen” lecture, etc.

We feel we need to say something when, truth be told, we just need to keep our mouths closed. And just be present.

Billy Graham once said,

“A suffering person does not need a lecture – they need a listener.”