This past Sunday was a hard Mother’s Day.
I don’t think I have ever experienced such anguish as I prepared for to preach my Mother’s Day sermon.
Mother’s Day is always hard, but this one became especially difficult. You, no doubt, already know about how often women who could not conceive simply go out of town on Mother’s Day. They do so because so many things revolve around the celebration of this day. It’s the largest or one of the largest days for restaurants, flowers, cards, and so much more. Many women find it easier just to leave.
My day was made much more difficult by reading several “preaching” articles that warned pastors about people who hurt on Mother’s Day. The articles are right. Many people are hurting. Before worship this past Sunday, I sat with one of my friends whose wife passed away last year. It was his first Mother’s Day without the big family celebration and the simple joy of spending the day with his wife.
Many, many people are hurting. How do we help them?
First, listen more than you talk. This is one thing my friend talked about. He gave a few examples of the thoughtless things people said over the last year and gave an opinion: people should just listen. I agree. Most grieving people do not want a solution. They know you can’t bring back their loved one, but you can listen carefully and sympathetically.
Second, take the time to listen and spend time with hurting people on their terms. They may not want to go out to eat, especially with other married couples, but they might go for a drive or a walk.
Third, don’t forget them. We are all busy and life is moving fast, but for your friends who grieve life has stopped. You may have moved on, but they have not moved on. They need people to remember, especially as the months have passed.
Finally, find just the right way to communicate that you are remembering. Cards are a great way to communicate. When my dad died, we kept all the cards we received. I went through those several times. In some way, they showed me that people care.
Text messages might be another way to communicate. The grieving person can read your text without having to do anything in return.
You can’t heal the hole in someone’s heart, but you can show them that you know and that you care.