The Comfort of a Listening Ear

Job 2:12-13 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.13 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.

Job’s friends came and sat with him for seven days and seven nights without speaking.  They were willing to wait until Job said something.  The problem for them was, when they did speak they were no help at all to their friend.

MOST of the time when we desire to be a help to someone that is hurting, being a listening ear is the greatest source of comfort we can be.  We always have an opinion, or some profound advice we would like to give, but silence truly is golden in most situations.  People have a need to talk out what they are going through internally.  Our role as a friend is to be a sounding board, listening without a need to speak.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Friends and family rarely give more than one opportunity for someone to talk about what they are going through.  Being a good listener may mean hearing the same stories over and over again, however each time we allow someone to speak about their pain, it helps them along in the healing process.  There is no need to be an expert, or to try and “fix” someone in their grief, you cannot fix grief.

When we come in contact with people that are hurting, which is probably daily for most of us, we need to be willing to hear them out.  Let them know that you are a willing listener.  Help them talk out their issues.  Ask them how they are doing and mean it.  Don’t settle for the “I’m fine” answer when you know they are not fine.

If you are grieving and need to talk, find an avenue to be heard.  Whether it be, friends, family or a support group, find a place where people will allow you to speak.

The point of the last three thoughts from Job, are to help us, help others. Today’s thought is the most helpful of all.