Care Capsule
Capsules of Motivation to Dispense Care and Kindness

Volume 5 - Issue 3
No. 18
December 2003



In This Issue

How To Comfort

The Ripple Effect

Soul Care Pre-Conference

Care Conference Speakers 2004

Change Myself,
Change My World

Light Notes

Conference Schedule

Thank Goodness!


How To Comfort

Is there a word that lessens pain?

—— Dr. James R. Kok

What comforts a sorrowing soul? What helps the devastated feel a little better when their dearest friend is taken away? Is there an action, a word, an answer that lessens the pain? Is there anything that can make a positive difference?

Everybody wants to help, when tragedy strikes — to comfort, to lift, to cheer. Whatever is done or said is intended and believed to make the afflicted feel better. So the words, attitudes or behaviors used on behalf of one who is heartbroken are delivered, thinking they are beneficial in healing the heartache.

Let us analyze the effects of well-intended sentences delivered to young parents suffering from the accidental death of their healthy six-year-old. Here are supposedly comforting words commonly given:

“Try to remember she is with the Lord.” For the grieving parent there is comfort in this important truth. It is a powerfully vital hope, but it does little to lessen the terrible pain of their child’s death. Certainly their outlook is affected by Easter hope, but there is virtually no softening of their devastating loss by reminders of the child’s ongoing life in Jesus’ presence.

As crucial as this truth may be, when anyone attempts to comfort by using this spiritual concept, the grief-stricken will feel it to be spoken by someone who doesn’t understand. In other words, uttering this key theological doctrine to parents who are “broken and bleeding” from cheery words or even from spiritual insights. Easy answers distance the speaker from the victim, leaving her feeling alone.


Dr. James R. Kok has written a series of articles on the essentials for a caring person. A handful of basic tools—wrapped in courage—are the keys to open doors.

As the Koach Of  Kare,
Dr. Kok has been a pastor at the Crystal Cathedral for the past nineteen years and heads the Care Ministry department of the church. He is the author of five books and numerous articles, and he is the founder of the International Conference on Care and Kindness.

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