I was devastated. My sister, who had been one of my best friends, and I had had a falling out. Despite my efforts to mend the situation she would not speak to me.
A certain circumstance compelled me to share my heartache with a friend. I briefly spoke of the root of the problem, of my hurt. I expected support and comfort, I certainly did not anticipate the counsel I received. “Well, you know what the Bible says,” she snapped. “Forgive 70 times 7.” And then she sanctimoniously hurled, “And turn the other cheek.”
I was offended; I was furious! I didn’t need her sermon. What I needed was her care. A simple “I’m sorry, it must hurt” would have lightened my burdened heart. Instead I felt mistreated. She undoubtedly thought she was God’s mouthpiece that gray day. I have filed her remark in my mental folder entitled “What not to say when you friend is hurting.”
Wisdom for the Caregiver
- Seek to understand your friend’s feelings.
- Say, “It must hurt.”
- Offer to pray for peace and reconciliation.
- Give a hug.
- Refrain from sharing your own stories of broken relationships. Focus all your attention on the hurting friend.
- Remember that it is best not to quote Scripture.
For additional caregiving advice, refer to the following categories on this website: “Caregiving Basics.”
The above advice is from The Compassionate Congregation, pages 185-187.
Photo credit: Dani Alvarez