Sorrow is an unfortunate companion in this life. Oh, there are occasions when it turns out to be an indispensable friend, if it is a sorrow that leads the sinner to repentance (2 Cor. 7:10). Yet, as simple everyday life goes, sorrow can be a bitter pill. Let’s face it, wherever disappointments, discouragements, and death exist, tears will be there. The wise man Solomon once said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die… a time to weep… a time to mourn…” (Eccl. 3:1-2, 4). Sooner or later, it is the fate of us all.
When such a time confronts us, we are immediately burdened by it; yet there is not a worse sense of despair or hopelessness than to have to face that burden alone. We all need a shoulder to cry on once in a while. Job 2:11-13 records that Job had three friends who came to comfort him after the devastating loss of his children and possessions. It says that they ” lifted their voices and wept” and that “ they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.”
I think one of the most touching stories I’ve ever read on the subject of grief and sorrow was one told by Leo Buscaglia about a four-year-old boy and his next-door neighbor (an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife). Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into his neighbor’s yard, climbed onto his lap and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
Herein lies a lesson. When another’s eyes “waste away with grief” (Ps. 31:9) there is but one thing to do: “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).