Sacred Stories | Beyond Words

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8

I provide spiritual care to residents of our memory care unit. One afternoon, I found four residents sitting together at a small table in our coffee shop. One of them had been tearful recently, and we had been struggling to find meaningful ways to comfort her. The three other ladies were holding her hands or patting her arms while she cried. I pulled a chair up to join them, silently asking God to grant me some insight into what to say to provide comfort.

A conversation was already in progress. “Are you sad because your chicken died?” one asked. Another inquired “Did your Dad go home?” The third woman patted her arm and looked intently into her eyes as she spoke.

With tears flowing down her face, the woman nodded, and said, “Yes, yes.” One of the women gently said, “It will be ok, we’ll wait with you until your cab comes.”

The woman continued to nod and weep. Another started to chuckle and said, “Sometimes, I just don’t know what to have for supper because no one is hungry, and I like a chicken myself.” Realizing what she’d said, she made a funny face, and the crying woman started to laugh. Soon, all four residents were laughing and nodding to each other and me.

I was suddenly humbled by the goodness of a God who does not require us to have great wisdom or eloquent words when presence and caring will do. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I left the little group feeling that I was the one who had been confused and at a loss for words, only to discover that the words didn’t matter one bit.

What mattered was the love and kindness with which they were said.

Submitted by Rebecca Hilton

Questions for Reflection

How can you be a blessing and reminder of God’s presence without words?

How do you show compassion through your actions?

About Sacred Stories

As CommonSpirit Health, we make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of
the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.

Sacred Stories convey ways our mission is being lived out by the gifted people in our ministry. We invite you to
use these stories for inspiration, as a meeting reflection, or to encourage discussion with your team.