1562) A Time to Be Silent

     Three of Joe Bayly’s seven children died at young ages.  The View from a Hearse is Bayly’s meditation on death and grieving.  He wrote it for those facing the death of a loved one or their own death, and for those in grief.  He knew that peace with death doesn’t come from understanding everything that happens to us, but in knowing that God has prepared a place for us beyond death.  

     In this passage, he describes that in his grief he found help not so much in words, but in a friend’s silent, caring, faithful presence:

 I was sitting, torn by grief, and somebody came along and talked to me about God’s dealings of why it happened, and of hope beyond the grave.  He talked constantly.  He said things I knew were true.  But I was unmoved, except to wish that he would go away.  And he finally did.  Then another one came and sat beside me, and he didn’t talk at all.  He didn’t ask me any leading questions.  He just sat beside me for an hour or more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, and left.  I was moved.  I was comforted.  I hated to see him go.


Ecclesiastes 3:7b  —  (There is) a time to be silent and a time to speak.

Job 2:11-13  —  When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.  When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.  Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights.  No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

Galatians 6:2  —  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.


Psalm 19:14:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


Related image

Job’s friends