• Engage

    Quiet Presence: Comfort Those Who Hurt

    Two friends call with heartbreaking news—news that will change their lives. And as a “word” person, I’m profoundly aware of how inadequate words are at such times. In fact, offering comfort can be as much about what we don’t say as what we do. An obstetrician friend told me that during his first year of medical practice, he sat with his first couple to lose a baby—this one died at twenty-three weeks. Feeling at a loss for words, he sat in silence and wept with them. When they thanked him later for saying just the right words, he wondered aloud “What words? I didn’t say anything?” Then he realized…precisely. “The…

  • Sue in a hospital bed

    Lessons From a Hospital Bed

    In the last several months, both of my severely arthritic hips were replaced. In addition to the wonderful blessing that I am out of pain, the surgeries and recoveries were full of lessons pointing me to spiritual truths I am so very thankful for: For a long time, I needed help getting in and out of my car. To be blunt, it was always noisy with involuntary gasps and screams of pain. And while my family and friends were so very glad to be of assistance, it was hard on them to witness me hurting so badly. Now that the pain is behind me, I keep hearing comments like, “Wow!…