Sometimes we feel like we always have to have an answer.
When someone confides in us, we seek solutions. When we hear a problem, we try to fix it. When a friend is discouraged, we try to encourage with a timely word.
But when dealing with pain, the above responses do not affirm what we read in Romans 12:15, “weep with those who weep.”
At a recent staff meeting, we discussed addressing the pain of our youth. Such challenging conversations are a normal reality for YFC staff and volunteers. As a result, learning to “weep with those who weep” is a vital lesson for healthy ministry.
Sometimes a listening ear is what is most needed. Sometimes a shoulder to cry on is what provides comfort.
We are, therefore, encouraging our team to "practice lament,” which may sound strange. However, we believe a posture of lament demonstrates the power of the gospel towards people. It recognizes the brokenness of our world. It shows concern for humanity. It beckons our need for a Redeemer. It magnifies our need for love. It points to Jesus.
Jesus was not quick to provide “answers” to hurting people. He listened. He asked questions. He wept. He loved. He comforted. He shared truth with discernment. What an amazing model.
Practicing lament is an art. People are so complex. Sometimes one might need a specific encouragement, but often times learning to “weep with those who weep” is the most pressing need. It is through such a posture that an arrow is pointed to the gospel.
There is more to explore here. Stay tuned for Part 2.