One of the cruelest jokes has to be in situations such as when a person suffers badly from an auto accident or the like:  ends up with multiple broken bones, punctures, contusions and even greater severe injuries only to be told how lucky they are to be alive.

Of course, we all know what’s going on here and it’s how we are attempting to encourage a friend that things somehow might have been worse:  they could be dead.

However:  we know this doesn’t really help.  Nor does it help if you explain how a similar circumstance happened to you once, or where you know of another friend who suffered the same.  True enough, it might have been harder or even easier for you, but the fundamental aspect is that YOU ARE NOT THEM.

What I am saying here is rather basic.  The bible says that even a fool appears to be wise when he keeps his mouth shut.

And when visiting a friend in the hospital or in aftercare oftentimes the best we can do is keep quiet and simply be there for them. Believe it or not we are not really the smartest people on earth and our words might actually cause more damage than good.

No, it doesn’t mean you have to be completely deaf mute, but it does indicate one should think before they should speak.

We can say stupid things like:  You’ll be good as new in any time.

Or it could have been worse.  Or Wow  you really look terrible.  Or if you need anything at all, just ask.

I suggest you don’t say dumb things like that unless you are really prepared to go all out and assist with anything or and everything just as you said.

That’s not probably what you really mean so simply mean exactly what you say.

Understand when one is in pain they really don’t feel all that good.  Slapping them on a bandage knee and telling a joke really isn’t going to be all that effective.  In fact, they’ll probably be glad when you leave.

Okay, yes.  Visit your friends who are hospitalized and remain respectful.  Pray with them and for them and offer services you can clearly and willingly perform.  Remember, you are the one who is lucky for you are the one who was able to drop by.  You are even luckier as God afforded you the time to visit with your friend.  In the end, the situation is not a good situation and the only good coming out of it might just be the comfort you present to your friend.  And remember, while it is indeed good they are alive:  it has nothing to do at all with luck but instead by the hand of Almighty God.



  1. No doubt we can all do better when bringing comfort to our suffering friends and neighbors. No doubt we should give a little forethought to such matters to prepare ourselves. No doubt good intentions sometimes add to the suffering.

    I like to think biblically about things, and one of the things that comes quickly to mind in a discussion such as this for me is Job’s friends. Few people in the history of the world suffer like Job. And he has friends who rightly come to comfort him. And the best thing they do when they get there is sit down in silence.

    In fact, that part of their mission is pretty good.

    It all goes south as they open their mouths.

    Surely we can take a lesson in comforting others from this book. There are other more important lessons in it, but this one is important too.

    Personally, my method of comfort (in the generic sense) is to take a seat, take a hand, and pray quietly. Let the patient speak. Hear their words and LISTEN patiently.

    I don’t do this perfectly, and not all suffering is alike. Sometimes I find this hard to do. Sometimes when I Monday-morning-QB it, I think I should have said… should have done… And sometimes that is right. But sitting quietly is always a good start.

    But I have learned another level of comfort that is far riskier and requires a LOT more patience, and does not always pay off, but when it does…!!!!

    Keep silent, or mostly silent, for a whole month. A solid 30 days! Especially when a loved one passes away. Hold the hand of the survivor for a solid month. And after that month is done, ALL the other comforters will go “back to normal” while your survivor friend will suddenly find themselves ALONE. Suddenly the flowers all die and the mail man does not deliver anymore cards and all that. The rest of us were not married to the deceased, where not the parent of the deceased… whatever, and the rest of us start itching to “get back to normal” just when the NEW NORMAL is starting to really set in!

    And it’s at that point. THAT 30-DAY point, the first month-a-versary, when the survivor really assesses who is still sitting there holding his/her hand. And if that is you… then you have access to the truly tender places in the heart. You are standing in the Holy of Holies where angels fear to tread. Now…. let your words be very careful, but let them be comforting. You have an ear with God!

    Liked by 1 person

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