Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,

or like vinegar poured on a wound,

is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Proverbs 25:20


No matter how confident we are in the joy that comes from knowing there is more to this life than “this life,”

we have to be careful when reaching out to others who are hurting.

Flippant cliches like,

“God will bring good from this”

just won’t cut it when a heart is breaking.

I think one of the most damaging things we can do as Christians is try to “sing songs to heavy hearts.”

Yes, God makes all things beautiful in His time;

but I think it’s tempting for us to want to make things beautiful in our time.

When I was first on the road of grief,

I can remember well-meaning friends trying so hard to pull me out of my sadness.

They didn’t want to see me so sad, and I knew that.

They truly wanted to help me, and I appreciated that.

I wouldn’t trade my friends and all they did for me for any other friends in the world,

but there was something very powerful about times when one of them would simply sit with me and allow me to have a broken and heavy heart.

There’s something very empowering about giving friends permission to feel deep sorrow in our presence.

God is good,


life can be very, very hard.

Sometimes people just need to know that we too feel the heaviness they are feeling about life.

Today, if you encounter someone who is struggling,

try not to “sing songs” into their painful situation too quickly .

Try not to find “an easy answer” for their pain.

Just be there.


Show compassion.

Allow space for their tears and sadness.

Ask God to put a guard over your mouth so that you will allow Him to do the speaking rather than you.

“Oh be careful little mouth what you say,”

is a line from a song many of us sang as young children.

That line always made me think of how I shouldn’t say “bad or mean words,”

which is very true.

But, this morning, I’m thinking about the good words that I need to refrain from saying in the presence of someone who is struggling to find any good in a very tough situation.

Lord, help me to not sing songs to a heavy heart.

Give me wisdom to know when it’s more appropriate to just be quiet and allow someone to be sad.

You have the power to bring hope and joy and peace in your time.

Help me not to remove a garment on a cold day or pour vinegar on an open wound.

Help me wait on you.

You are close to the brokenhearted, and

You will make a way that leads to joy…….in Your time.

In Your Son’s Precious Name,