“That’s What She Said…”

“Why don’t you just curse God and die!”  Can you imagine such a statement being thrown at a man who has experienced such loss that he seems to be reaching his limit?  Well, that’s what she said!  Job, had lost most everything he had ever had. He had lost his children, his houses, and his farm animals.  In the midst of all this, his wife, makes this stupid, thoughtless suggestion. “Curse God and die,” she said.  No doubt she just wished he would give up and be gone so she could move on with her life.

Job 2:8-10

New Living Translation (NLT)

8 Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. 9 His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.

The popular television show, The Office, randomly makes a “That’s what she said” joke by twisting words or phrases into meanings other than that for which they were intended.  But I tell ya, people can say some of the meanest things…intentionally – hurtful things that can have a devastating effect on the ones they are aimed at.

Allow me to give you a couple of examples.  At my birth, my mother actually died and was rescusitated.  It was an awful experience.  A preacher, who was trying to make sense of the ordeal turns to an unchurched member of the family and says, “It’s a good chance that she is going through all of this trouble because you don’t go to church and God is trying to get your attention.”  Now, well meaning as he may have been, what the man heard was, ‘you are causing her this pain… how could you!?  If she dies, it is your fault!’  Bad timing!

Upon the news of our second miscarriage, my wife and I were trying to put our lives back together and go through the grieving process when I began to get these very strange phone calls.  This lady, who called herself a nun, would periodically call proclaiming that she had seen visions for me.  She expressed that she had seen that we had already lost two children but another one was on the way.  Then she told me that we had lost the two prior because of my lack of faith.  Then she proceeded to tell me that this new third pregnancy would come to a terrible end before the 2nd trimester because of my faithless heart.  Funny thing was, this time I became angry.  I rebuked her in the name of Jesus Christ and told her that the demons that were controlling her were not allowed to invade my life because my family and I belonged to Jesus and that they were not welcome.  She began to scream on the phone and there was no way I could tell what she was saying, but I will admit that the hair stood up on the back of my neck.  She dropped her phone and continued to scream, so I put my phone on speaker phone and asked my pastor, in the next office, to come in and listen.  He said, “WE GOTTA PRAY NOW!”  And boy did we!  She abruptly hung up her phone. It was then that I learned that the Pastor had been receiving her calls too.  She never called us back.  And to this day I’m grateful for caller ID and wish we had been able to use it back then!

Side note… The third child was born fine!

But I still am amazed how insensitive people can be.  “Your baby was miscarried probably because it would have been retarded and God is being merciful.”  “Your grandmother died because she just gave up and didn’t have enough faith to get through it.”   “I bet your car was stolen because you are holding hard feelings against someone and you need to make it right.”  “Just curse God and die…”

Dumb responses to serious situations can really goof up a prime opportunity to show the love of Jesus.  There is a saying that goes, “We are the only army that shoots our own wounded.”

What we need to do, as misfits who are believers, is make a difference.  When someone around us is hurting, minister to them!  Make your statements encouraging and refreshing.  And… let’s be serious… when those times come when you just don’t know what to say, or you are at a loss for words… just be silent, offer a hug, put an arm around them and let them know you are there if they ever need to talk.  Just being available and strong for them can be more encouraging than words sometimes.

[The following is the handwritten part of a card I received after our miscarriage, from a friend who knew I was hurting] “Scott, I’m so sorry to hear you lost your child.  I’ve never been through anything even remotely close to what you are dealing with, so I’ll just say I love you bro.  I’m here if you need me.  And I’m praying for you.  Praying to one who DOES know how you feel.  He lost His son too.  God bless you.” Finally someone knew what to say… very little…  and what not to say… i know how you feel (because no one ever knows exactly).

And for the first time in a while, I smiled.

Touching the lives of people is not a hard thing to do.  Sometimes we just gotta hush long enough to touch.  Who will you touch today?
There you have it, misfits

Truth wins

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~ by Scott Herrin on June 23, 2011.

2 Responses to ““That’s What She Said…””

  1. As nursing students we were taught to use ‘therapeutic communication’, which, in essence, is what you’re talking about. Silence is golden. I don’t ‘know’ how you feel anymore than you ‘know’ how I feel, even in similar circumstances. It still surprises me that people have to be told to shutup and just be there…let people cry, or rant, or just hurt while knowing that you are there, non-judgemental, to listen or just be. Thank you, Scott, for all you do.

    • Thanks! This is pretty much a common sense lesson. Anyone who’s ever been through hardship knows…or at least they should. It wouldn’t hurt to have it taught in a Sunday school class though…LOL.

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