The End of A Wretched Week (Thoughts on Pastoral Care)

This past week will officially go into the books as one of the worst in recent memory.

Early in the week, my parents-in-law’s next door neighbor’s son (was that complicated enough for you) was killed in a car wreck. He was the passenger in a car driving the wrong way which hit the car of an off-duty police officer, killing the police officer and the neigbor’s son. I don’t know much about Officer Hoefler, but the neighbor’s son was only 32.

Of course, his father is hanging on by the skin of his teeth; the loss of his son has really rocked him.

So here I am, as the pastoral intern for a church 18 miles to the north, spending my entire week trying to provide Andy with pastoral support. Andy is nominally Catholic at best, and as he has made a credible profession of faith in Christ, I must take him at his word.

I’ve always wondered what the right thing to say would be in this sort of situation. I learned the answer to that this week.

You don’t say anything.

Just weep with the family.

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"I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve." (Romans 16:17-18) Please read "The Comments Policy."

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