This week, thanks to a friend of mine, I read the trilogy by Penelope Wilcock called The Hawk and the Dove. Without writing a book report on it—although I may do that later—I’ll briefly say that the book is a collection of stories a mother tells her daughter about their ancestors who lived during the middle ages, two of whom were monks who lived in a monastery. Most of the stories are of the men living in community in the monastery. Now I’ve made it sound like a dull book, but it was just the opposite, and the characters in it were very real people. The Hawk and the Dove contained very honest portrayals of human struggles and suffering, and the questions we face in life. I’m still digesting all I read. But, to get to the quote I wanted to share…

In book two, entitled “The Wounds of God”, Melissa’s mother (she is the one telling the stories in the book) shares with her daughter:

…[W]e can offer no solutions, no easy answers, to other people’s tragedies. We can only be there. It is Jesus they need, not us, and even he offers no answers. He offers himself. It is when people find their way through to him that the pain of their life becomes the pain not of death, but of birth. A thing of hope.

That is so true. So often, there is nothing to say to ease someone’s pain. Simply being there, and loving them like Jesus, and pointing them to Him and to His love and His comfort is enough, and better than trying to say something.

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