Multiple Choice Quiz

I shared my brokenness with someone who loves me last night. They failed this quiz. 

I was able to calmly tell them they failed and that I needed a different answer. I told him I needed him to listen to me, to hear me and validate my suffering rather than trying to fix it. 

In helping him understand what I needed – rather than just getting angry and bitter and isolating myself even more – I was able to help myself. 

I gave him a chance to try again. He gave a wonderful answer on his second try. Then held me while I cried.


Multiple choice quiz:

When someone you care about tells you they are beaten, wounded, and hurting. When they bare their wounds and share with you how they feel, even when they tell you that you are the one that hurt them, your answer should be….

A. Yep. I know. I feel that way, too. Just last week…(followed by a story of you own pain. Ignoring their vulnerability.)

B. Wow! I didn’t know you felt that way. (Followed by silence.)

C. I’m sorry. I’m sorry you are hurting. I’m sorry that person hurt you so badly. I care about you and your pain.

D. You know you really shouldn’t be this sensitive about this.  I’m sure you had something to do with the situation. Shouldn’t you be over this yet?

E. A Christian platitude like “Have you prayed about it?” or “Just lay it at the cross”. Add a scripture such as Romans 8:28.

F. If you are the one who hurt them…I am sorry. I was wrong. I should have acted differently. I’d like to try again and do better this time. Will you forgive me?

Yep, I’ve done most of the above. My suffering has helped me learn that C and F are the correct answers. As the old saying goes: “Experience is the best teacher. A fool learns no other way.”

I’ve been a fool. Now I am trying to do better.

7 thoughts on “Multiple Choice Quiz

  1. I’m really tired of A from a few people. Fine, tell me once that you are hurting, but don’t tell me over and over how hard the death of my husband is for you. You hardly knew him. If you are having trouble, figure out what is really going on with someone else, not me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We who are grieving deeply need time to heal before we are required to bear another’s burden. Would you want someone with a broken leg to be required to carry a 100 pound pack for 50 miles? No! You would give them time to heal!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What I need to hear and what someone else has to say almost never matches, at least in my experience. When someone tells me private intimate information, I’ll try to remember to ask, “What can I do for you?” cause I’m not very good at figuring it out on my own. I like the choice of C above and my husband will usually go with B and I think the silence is worse than anything else that could be said.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was about to say C and F! Great reminders.

    Some friends of mine recently lost a loved one and I was at a loss as to what to say—they are over a thousand miles away. I can’t just pop over to their house to be present, bring food, and give hugs.

    All I could eke out was, “I’m so sorry. I know you are hurting and the pain is unbearable. We love you and are lifting you up in prayer.” To say nothing would’ve been hurtful, but I feel like what I did say was still trite. It’s tough. I need to remember this when my time comes to grieve so that I will extend grace to those who, like me at this moment, want to do something kind, but don’t know how to effectively help.

    Liked by 1 person

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