A Word from Pastor Neta

"Ninety percent of life is just showing up."  Woody Allen's assessment is good advice.  Just be there.  You don't have to solve it.  You don't have to say much.  It's better if you don't stay a long time.  Check in frequently and let someone know you are thinking of them.  
 
Be a good listener.  This is not the time to tell about all the folk you know who had something similar.  Each person's pain is individual and needs to be respected.  This is the time to listen.  Often folk just need a chance to tell their story.  If they don't want to talk, you will know.  Don't pry, but do listen.
 
Write notes to express your concern and your love.  People read them over and over.  They mean more than you will ever know.
 
Offer practical help: a casserole, transportation, whatever.  Be specific.  "Let me know if there's anything I can do" will seldom bring a response.  "Can I bring you a casserole on Tuesday night?"  "I'm going to the store, what can I pick up for you?" are welcome help.
 
Pray for your friend.  Ask for God's comfort, healing, grace.  Let them know you are praying for them, but allow them to find their own religious answers to what has happened.  There are many things which happen which are not God's will.  This may be one of those things that grieves the heart of God.   God's solution may not be yours.  In fact, it will probably be far more creative, far deeper, than any we could suggest.  
 
Neta Lindsay Pringle