The thing is, some of us have wonderful mothers, some have okay mothers, some have bad mothers. And some of us are celebrating having a mother, but others of us are mourning our mothers. Some of us are sadly reminded of the times when we lost a child, others are reminded of the fact that they will never be a mother. And then there are lots and lots who are celebrating their living mothers as well as the fact that they are a mother.
I want to think about those who are mourning this celebrated day, but most of all, I don't want to take the focus of worship off of who we are supposed to be celebrating as we gather for worship each week - JESUS. HE is what we celebrate! His birth, death, and resurrection. Thankfully, here anyway, we don't have some big celebration with lots of awards given as I've seen and heard that some places do. I even saw a comment that one lady doesn't go to worship that day because it's too painful! That is NOT what the church should be about - causing pain to someone else in that manner! That makes me so sad.
In ladies class Wednesday night we talked about mourning and our ministry to others in mourning. Here are the points I would like to share today that are especially relevant for this coming Sunday....a hard time during this time of year every year because they are missing a loved one. (Be considerate of the feelings of others. These points are from a sermon at Memorial Rd. Church (Phil Brookman) in February.)
1.Take the words “at least” and “you should” out of your vocabulary.
No one wants to hear the words “at least” when they are in grief because at that moment there is no "at least". And no one wants to hear “you should” because that doesn’t validate how they’re feeling.
2. Instead of the phrase, “Call me if” change that to “I will do”. When people are in grief we often say, “Call me if you need anything.” But rarely does that happen because when someone is in grief the last thing they want to have to do is take advantage of someone else’s to-do list, so change that to a tangible action. Decide to do something and just tell them, “I will do _____________”. I’m going to bring you a meal. Tell them what you are going to do for them.
3. When it comes to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one or friend, don’t be afraid to mention the name of the person who died because the person who is grieving is probably thinking of that person all day long. It can be very validating to that person to mention by name the loved one.
4. Just listen. Be quiet. Job said to his friends, "What miserable comforters you are!" (Job 16:2) He just wanted someone to listen to him. He knew all of the things they said to him, but just needed someone to hear him.
5. Don’t force yourself into the situation if the person doesn’t want to talk. You might not be the person that this person needs to or wants to talk to. Be available, but don’t force it.