He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. (Luke 24:17-19a)
Most of us have received bad news: a loved one is dead, a loved one has cancer, we have been diagnosed with cancer or another disease, our loved one has lied to us, our loved one is cheating on us, our loved one doesn’t love us anymore. As Christians we can’t avoid our friends and loved ones who are hurting from bad news, but how should we respond?
You and I have walked to the cross with Jesus. We know Jesus is our savior but Cleopas is unsure. He suffered a huge loss. Jesus was supposed to be his savior, but he couldn’t even save Himself. He was supposed to save Cleopas from the Romans. Cleopas was frozen with grief. His face was downcast. Pretend Cleopas is your loved one. As Christians, what do we tell Cleopas. We look to Jesus as an example. He shows us to walk beside Cleopas and be sympathetic with words like, “What are you discussing?” or “What are you thinking?” Jesus wants to know our deepest feelings as we should want to know the deepest feelings of our loved ones. So when our loved one says. “I’m okay. How are you?” or asks us a question like, “Don’t you know?” redirect the conversation back to them. “What things have happened to you?” Be sympathetic to Cleopas. Care about his feelings.
Dearest Heavenly Father, I have loved ones who are scared and hurting. Help me walk beside them and say the right things. Help me let them know I care about their feelings and don’t want to brush them off. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.