The oldest book in the Bible is the story of Job.
In this story, Job is terrorized by Satan and his forces who destroy Job’s property, kill his children, and take away his health. Throughout this process, Job refuses to curse God.
As Job begins to grieve, he puts on sackcloth and sits in ashes, a sign of mourning, and his three closest friends come to visit Job in his time of sorrow.
They sat with Job and said nothing.
For seven days they sat with him in mourning, grieving for their friend who had lost so much. There were no words of comfort. There were no quirky phrases that do more harm than good. There was only silence and companionship.
Aztec is hurting. Our children are grieving. Three families especially are beside themselves with loss and grief and uncertainty.
I have spoken with families relaying that their children are not wanting to talk. Parents want to help, but they’re unsure of how to do so. They recognize the health that comes through emoting and discussion, but so many young people can’t talk right now. They’re hurting on a tremendously deep level. And they’re scared.
Sometimes people need others to be patient and simply sit with them in silence.
In the movie, “The Horse Whisperer”, it was imperative that Robert Redford’s character spend copious amounts of time with the horse simply being near in order to gain the trust of the horse. After a long while, the horse would know the goodness of the man, and then relationship could be fostered.
This scenario is similar. Kids need to know that it’s OK that they’re hurting. They need to know that they won’t lose anyone else at this time. They need to know you’re there beside them in times of quiet and in times of the flood of emotion that is sure to come. They need you to just be there.
Sit with them. If they don’t kick you out of their room, sit on their bed with them and hold them in silence. Just love them where they are. Pray for them as you hold them.
As they begin to talk, ask questions. Statements right now aren’t the best help. They need to be able to talk things through and explore this new world on this side of the tragedy. They need to discover their own way and find their loved ones supportive and caring in this new way.
For many of the young people in Aztec High last Thursday, life will never be the same. Trust and security have been shattered. The small-town atmosphere has been violated now that the thing that “would never happen here” has occurred.
We all need love. We all need prayers. We all need people who care for us enough to simply sit next to us and not say a word, like Job’s three friends. May we be that for our young people in the weeks and months to come.
If you need a safe place to talk, pray, heal, or just need someone to sit with you, I’m here for you. Call us at the Aztec church of Christ at 334-6626 for support. We have been praying and will continue to pray for you.