| Click Now to Order
I was a green pastor about
to make my first grief counseling call. The lady I was supposed to visit
was a daughter-in-law of a neighbor of a member of the Church, or something
like that. She was in her early twenties, about my age at the time, when
her new husband died in a tragic automobile accident the day before. I
was still in Seminary and had absolutely no training in what I was about
to do, but I was the Pastor, so off I went with my pocket New Testament
Her tears made me feel uncomfortable.
I didn't know whether to just sit there and watch her cry or to say something.
She was paralyzed by her grief and was in no emotional condition to carry
a conversation. Small talk seemed inappropriate, and I knew it was my place
to initiate any conversation we would have.
Intuitively, I knew I needed
to comfort her. But how? I wanted to say something like, "Well at
least your husband is in heaven," but I didn't know him or her. After
about two or three-hour-long-minutes, I dove in. "Mam, was your husband
a Christian?" "No, he wasn't." Now what? What could I possibly
Have you ever watched a young
baby learn to hold a cup? That's the way I felt, without any ministerial
dexterity I respond, "I'm sorry, I have no comforting words to give
At the time, I thought I
was being bold when I began to give her the plan of salvation and explain
to her how she needed Christ in her life. Today, as I look back on that
inaugural pastoral care visit, I just think I was insensitive and rude.
If I could turn back the
hands of time, I would return to her side, sit quietly and weep with her.
Today, all I can do is pray that her memory isn't as good as mine.