Effin’ it up

Yep.  I effed it up.  Some who read this – some who know me personally – might or might not agree with my self-assessment here, but I think that I tend to listen more than I tend to give advice.  When somebody is telling me a story about something painful or traumatic, I will sympathize and I might even empathize, sometimes going so far as to tell a story about myself, where I had an experience similar to what you were just describing.  Only rarely do I offer actual advice.

Last night, just before I went to bed, I went against my usual m.o.   I had run across a website where somebody was expressing pain over a traumatic experience the author’s close family member had encountered.  I don’t know – the story touched me, so I decided to respond in a way that seemed like it would speak to the situation.

The trouble was that – for whatever reason – while I was reading this story, I failed to see the final paragraph.  That last paragraph completely changed the meaning of the posting, so my response was totally inappropriate.  When the original poster saw it, there was some backlash.  Some uncharitable words were written, some assumptions made, but considering the ham-handedness of my own response, I can hardly place blame.

I won’t disclose what the story was about and I won’t say anything more about how I responded.  Instead I’d like to post a quote from John Chrysostom which expresses what I would have liked to have said, but didn’t.

That you have sustained a severe blow, and that the weapon directed from above has been planted in a vital part all will readily admit, and none even of the most rigid moralists will deny it; but since they who are stricken with sorrow ought not to spend their whole time in mourning and tears, but to make good provision also for the healing of their wounds, lest, if they be neglected their tears should aggravate the wound, and the fire of their sorrow become inflamed, it is agood thing to listen to words of consolation, and restraining for a brief season at least the fountain of your tears to surrender yourself to those who endeavour to console you.


One Response to “Effin’ it up”

  1. Brother-
    Chrysostom knew a few things, didn’t he? You certainly aren’t the first person to make an ignorant comment. I’m guilty of the same thing. You seem like a mindful fellow with excellent taste in wordpress themes, so I’m adding you to my blogroll. Thank you for your comment on my site; it was reassurance I didn’t know I needed until I heard it.

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