Friday, February 27, 2009

The Best of Friends...

Job 2:11-13 When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then 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 his suffering was.

After the loss of our first child, there was this one single act of compassion that will always stand out in my mind. One of my closest friends had chosen to come and spend the day with me while my husband had gone back to work. It was to have been my first day by myself since my miscarriage, and this dear friend drove over to my house with her arms stocked full of packets of hot cocoa mix and "chick-flicks"...you know, those movies that only women can understand and you couldn't get a guy to sit through and watch it with you for anything.

It was those few mugs of soothing hot cocoa, watching Sense and Sensibility, and the numerous times during the day when she was there with a hug while I would spontaneously break down into tears that got me through the day. There were no words that could have been spoken to me that day to comfort me, and my friend didn't try to speak any. Her friendship and presence were more of a consolation than anything that anyone could have said to me at that time.

Going back to my friend, Job - Upon learning of what Job is going through, three of his friends came to sympathize and comfort him. Unfortunately, when they came, they did a poor job of comforting Job because they were proud of their own advice and insensitive to Job's needs. As it turns out, their words weren't all that helpful - but at least they came. Later, God rebukes them for what they said (42:7), but He does not rebuke them for what they did - making the effort to come to someone who was in need.

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