3 Ways To Comfort Someone Experiencing a Tragedy Like Hurricane Harvey
by Ramon Mayo
What do you say when someone has experienced the loss of a loved one or property? Hurricane Harvey has affected millions of people. How do you address the questions that come up in the face of such a tragedy?
Here are 3 things you can do to effectively address someone who has experienced tragedy in their life:
1. Embrace them. Sometimes the only thing you can do is to be present and give someone a hug.
There are no words for some things that we experience in life. In the midst of total devastation, many people want to ask “Why?”
As Christians, we are tempted to give our human understanding of events and try to place blame or give platitudes to comfort the person who is going through. But the best thing to do is to not to give your ideas but to just be present. Being present is more important than being right. Being present is more important than being smart. Being present is more important than having all the answers.
Being present is more important than being right. Being present is more important than being smart. Being present is more important than having all the answers.
2. Pray with and for them. Along the lines of being present with people is actually pray for them.
You can tell people I’ll be praying for you but let’s be honest. A lot of times you forget or you have no intention of praying and just want to end the conversation on a good note. But what if you actually prayed right there in the moment for God to do something in their life. Pray alongside them and ask God the same questions they are asking. Ask God to do something in their life to make things even a tiny bit better.
3. Be honest with them. When you don’t know why God allowed some tragedy (which is pretty much 99% of the time) then don’t make up answers.
Those answers will never satisfy. By making up answers you already have the wrong mindset and make it hard to truly enter into a person’s pain. Your mind is on being a person who has all the answers. Listen up! God never called us to have all the answers but he did call us to love people. When loving is the first thing that’s on your mind then you are comfortable with saying I don’t know but trust God anyway.
The thing is we are called to be like Jesus. And even though people suffer a tragedy like what has happened in Houston God through Jesus Christ has entered into that suffering and that pain and that tragedy.
We may not know what to say when things like this happen but we know who to point to and who to be like: Jesus. You may not know exactly how a person feels after they’ve lost a mom or a son but Jesus knows how they feel. You may not know exactly how it feels to lose your home and all your belongings but Jesus knows how they feel. In times like this, all you have to do is be Jesus for that person and love them like he would in the midst of a tragedy.
Ramon Mayo is a digital content developer at UMI. Since the 3rd grade, Ramon has been writing and publishing creative words for others. His words have evolved into different formats since he won his 3rd-grade poetry contest and writing hip-hop songs in high school. This all changed when he found an unexpected calling to ministry. After a stint as a pastor, Ramon has been an editor of the number one African American Biblical commentary Precepts For Living and a featured writer on UrbanFaith.com and Urban Faith magazine.