My Dad used to quote a twist on the old 'sticks and stones' saying. He would say, "Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words can really hurt me!"
In our times of grief we may find that we are frequently offered words that hurt us more than help us. Sometimes friends, family and even our church leaders say things to us that make our grief worse.
Today, for our journaling idea, let's write out all the hurtful things we have been told throughout our period of grief. Anything that was thoughtless or unkind or perhaps well-intentioned, but painful.
Go ahead and get some paper, I'll wait....
Okay so let's list them all. Write them out and describe how each comment made us feel.
Now let's pray and ask God to help us completely forgive any unkind words and free us from thinking about them, trying to decipher the motive behind them or analyzing whether the person who spoke them cares about us or not.
After praying, let's take the list outside, lift the lid to the barbeque and add flames. That's right, we are going to incinerate the list! (Just be sure you do it somewhere safe and enclosed. Just like an unkind word, a tiny spark can create a catastraphe!)
Once these hurtful words have been reduced to ash, we are going to move on to phase 2 of our journaling exercise for today. Are you ready?
Get a fresh, clean sheet of paper and list all of the kind, helpful, thoughtful things people have said and done for you throughout your grief process.
Write about how each one made you feel.
Now, let's pray and thank God for each one of these people and their words or deeds that ministered his grace and comfort to us when we needed it so deperately.
Let's ask God to help us remember the kindness shown to us and commit to sharing God's love and comfort to others in the same way it has been given to us.