11 All his brothers, sisters, and acquaintances came to him and ate food with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him concerning all the disaster the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a qesitah and a gold ring.
~ Job 42:11, CEB
What kinds of things truly offer comfort to those who are hurting?
I have found it helps to listen, for starters. Some of you may say, “I’m not really a good listener!” That’s okay- listening is easy to pretend. Just don’t talk. Allow the other person room to talk. If you can’t actively listen because of fear or anxiety or some such thing (which is normal) just sit silently and be uncomfortable. You can do it.
Some level of distraction can be comforting. I’m not talking about going and getting drunk or high- I’m talking about being distracted by things that are reasonably healthy (or not harmful). My friends take me out to play golf when I need comfort and we laugh about how much we suck at golf. It helps.
Simple things are often what bring comfort, as opposed to grand gestures. A hug can be very comforting. A card or note can bring comfort. Simply acknowledging that you know that a hurting person is hurting can provide that person comfort. It helps knowing that other people see your pain.
When we’re comforted, we realize we’re not alone. When we know we’re not alone we gain strength. When we gain strength we can move in the direction of acceptance (even if it takes a while).
What else would you add to the list?