They sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. Job 2. 1 - 13
Most people refer to Job's friends as "the well meaning friends" because we remember them for their judgmental explanations for why Job is being tortured by God...not helpful at all as a matter of fact, and actually just heaps more pain on Job's suffering.
But in this little line at the end of today's reading, we see that the friends started out doing what is so important when we sit with the grieving: "no one spoke a word...for they saw that his suffering was great." I confess I missed this line until today.
Grief comes in many shapes and sizes, and there are as many ways to grieve as there are people in the world. We cannot shape or manage the grief of another; we can only listen and love.
If you or someone you know is grieving, consider participating in Walking the Mourner's Path, a beautiful grief program founded out of the need to find the answer to the question "where is God in my pain?"
If you are ministering to one who grieves, remember these friends of Job who at first just sat with him and listened. As participants in Mourner's Path say every time they are together: "Together we can do what I cannot do alone." Just listen.