Words of Hope: Learning How to Comfort

I was cleaning out a backpack and found a staff meeting paper from March 11, 2020. This was the last time we met in person as a team before we closed the office for several months. This was right before we had to cancel our entire camp season. For this staff meeting, our key word was “comfort,” and our verse was 2 Corinthians 1:3.  

As I look over this staff meeting sheet, the question we asked each other during the meeting was, “Who do you need to comfort that most people overlook?” I had written down my dad. I think it is easy to forget to comfort people we assume are okay.  

I have had to learn how to comfort others, and I don’t handle comforting others well. I feel pain when others feel pain, and because I don’t like to feel pain, I can be less comforting than I want to be. Some people I know are incredible at comforting people. They sit and listen, they know how to ameliorate the discomfort, they know what to say and what not to say.  

I am speedy with my thinking and my words. I want to fix things and encourage ways to hurry up and get better. I find my daughters can be harder to comfort. I like to lecture which (not surprisingly) does not soothe them even though it soothes me. It’s good to do the work of knowing how to comfort those who are in pain. One thing I appreciate is how easy it was to comfort my dad. He didn’t need much to feel comforted—a song, a kind word, time holding his hand. I am grateful for all those who comfort me in my pain and aspire to be more comforting when others suffer. 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of All comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. – 1 Corinthians 1:3