Job 2:13 - Empathy

Job 2:13; Empathy

Job 2:13 (KJV)  So they sat down with him upon the ground seven
days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw
that his grief was very great.

Why did the friends arrive and then just sit quietly? According
to Jewish tradition, people who come to comfort someone in mourning
should not speak until the mourner speaks. Often the best response to
another person's suffering is silence. Job's friends realized that his
pain was too deep to be healed with mere words, so they said nothing.
(If only they had continued to sit quietly!) Often, we feel we must
say something spiritual and insightful to a hurting friend. Perhaps
what he or she needs most is just our presence, showing that we care.
Pat answers and trite quotations say much less than empathetic
silence and loving companionship. [Life Application SB]

His name is Bill.  He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes
in it, jeans and no shoes.  This was literally his wardrobe for his
entire four years of college.  He is brilliant.  Kinda esoteric and
very, very bright.  He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very
conservative church.  They want to develop a ministry to the students, but
are not sure how to go about it. One day Bill decides to go there.
He walks in

with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair.  The service
has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a

The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat.  By
now people are looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says
anything.  Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and when
he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the
carpet.  (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college
fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!)

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air
is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back
of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill.  Now
the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, a three-piece
suit, and a pocket watch.  A godly man, very elegant, very dignified,
very courtly.  He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward
this boy, everyone is saying to temselves, You can't blame him for
what he's going to do.  How can you expect a man of his age and of
his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.  The church
is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane.  All
eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing.  The
people are thinking, The minister can't even preach the sermon until
the deacon does what he has to do.  And now they see this elderly
man drop his cane on the floor.  With great difficulty he lowers
himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be
alone.  Everyone chokes up with emotion.

When the minister gains control he says, "What I'm about to
preach, you will never remember.  What you have just seen, you will
never forget. " Author unknown