Posted by: Jo | June 21, 2011

Helping Someone To Cry

I read a sweet story just recently about a small boy whose neighbour, an
elderly man, had just lost his wife of fifty years. The boy asked his mother if
he could go and visit their neighbour. When he returned the mother was anxious
to know what her son had said to the grieving man.

“I didn’t say anything” he replied. “I just sat on his lap and helped him

Consoling another, is perhaps the most beautiful act a friend can do for
another grieving friend. The word, console, is one of my favourite words. The
word itself doesn’t embody impulsive movement, grandiose words, but deep empathy
with someone else who is experiencing pain. It gives a mental picture of two
people embracing without any words being spoken. A gentle arm around a shoulder;
a soft squeeze of a hand; a stroking of another’s hair. Consoling another is
really what the little boy was able to sum up. Basically helping someone to cry.

Sometimes somebody’s grief paralyses us and we feel inadequate and unable to
think of anything to say and unfortunately many of us avoid those who are in
most need of consoling.

The other mistake we often make when others are grieving is to feel that we
have to be over cheerful and to somehow make the sorrowing one think happy
thoughts. The book of Proverbs has some wise words for that.

“Like the one who takes away a garment on a cold day,

or like vinegar poured on soda,

is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” Proverbs 15 : 20

So how do we offer comfort? How do we console and yet still allow the tears
to flow?

Our Heavenly Father is our best example.

When we realize how much our Heavenly Father wants to console and comfort his
children, we are able to be the instruments he needs to use to “help somebody

2 Corinthians 1 : 3,4 says,

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so
that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received
from God.”

The Psalmists knew that when overwhelming emotions overtook them, their
source of consolation lay with the Lord.

“When I said, “My foot is slipping”,

your love , O Lord supported me.

When anxiety was great within me,

your consolation brought joy to my soul” Psalm 94 : 18, 19.

Let us lovingly help others to cry with the help of our Heavenly Father. Let
us realize that “the God of all comfort” is always accessible, always ready to
bear the pain of grief and always with outstretched arms reaching out towards
his children. Let us be sensitive to another’s grief. Not offering the quick
relief of empty sayings, but truly embodying what the word “console” means.

Mostly let us be like the little boy who had wisdom way beyond his years.


  1. Beautiful!


  2. […] Helping Someone To Cry ( […]


  3. I really like this one Mum. Keep writing!



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