One of my favorite verses of Scripture comes from Paul’s opening comments in 2 Corinthians:
[Christ] comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. —2 Corinthians 1:4, HCSB
I’ve watched this very thing happen recently as several of our close coworkers have been stricken by the beast of new cancer diagnoses. A friend who works on another floor was given the overwhelming diagnosis of breast cancer a few weeks ago. Though I rarely see her up here, she’s been in the office of a coworker often these last weeks. A coworker who herself went through radiation and chemotherapy last summer. When we are in a hurtful situation, we seek others who have come through that hurt, who have struggled and survived. Who can pass on that comfort Christ gives us.
It’s something I see every day in the blogging world. Some of the most popular blogs out there are from women who have lost a child or struggled with infertility. I read blogs from other working moms, wanting to know that I’m not the only person dealing with squeezing 12 hours of quality time in the two-hour block before my daughter hits the sheets for the night.
It’s that same essence of needing comfort in grief, isn’t it? It’s why we need redemptive community to love us whole again, to remind us that God is the God of all comfort, the Healer, the Redeemer, the Forgiver. Someone else has experienced a certain aspect of Him, and they can remind us that He is all we need.
Reflect on whether there is something specific to your story that might help comfort others, and make yourself available to share. You never know who might need to hear your story right then as some encouragement. As Americans we sometimes resist being vulnerable, but it is a key aspect in developing real, healing community with other Christians.