What To Say When You Don’t Know What To Say

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Joseph Park

Joseph Park

Senior Chaplain - Jericho Road

What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say

I love talking. I can talk all night about anything and everything.

But there are times when I am lost for words, times when difficult and unthinkable things happen.


I was lost for words when I got the news that my father passed away 5000 miles away from me, and within a few minutes, I got the news that my best friend, who had battled cancer for four years, passed away in hospital 30 kilometres away. I was lost for words when I was working as a hospital chaplain, hearing a patient lose his wife in the most tragic of circumstances, and having to break the news with a team of doctors and nurses. I was also lost for words when I went to a funeral for a six-month-old baby. What do you do when you are lost for words? What do you say when you dont know what to say?


When someone is going through some troubles, I have learned that my words are not the most important thing for that person, but if I have to say something, I make sure that they are simple and honest. For example, I would say things like “I am so sorry to hear this is happening to you,” or “I can’t imagine what you’re going through at the moment.” “Is there anything I can help you with?” or “I’m praying for you.” Sometimes, we are lost for words and don’t know what to do in these difficult situations. The good news is, there is training available for you.



Love Your Neighbour (LYN) is a beginners course that would equip you to learn how to be a helpful presence to those in need. Whether you are supporting someone coping with the loss of a loved one, going through a season of grief, or living with those with mental health challenges, LYN has been designed to equip Christians to love others deeply and truthfully. Love for our neighbours, as the parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us, is the expression of the gospel of grace. We are called to love others because God loves us through His Son. Jesus came near to us when we were beaten up by life’s ups and downs, brutally abused by the power of sin that robbed us of our dignity as God’s image bearers, and left for dead on the road helplessly. Jesus came near when we desperately needed rescue because He had mercy on us. He brought us into the safe place of the Father’s shelter.


Jesus calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves with the love He loves us with. LYN is a small step towards becoming a neighbour to someone near us who might be struggling through grief and loss, or depression and anxiety. The course is delivered online and in-person. It can be delivered over three full days, or four half-day sessions over four weeks. The course is appropriate as training for a team of volunteers for deacons, elders and others involved in pastoral care, or individuals looking to volunteer in hospitals, aged care facilities, and other community groups.


To find out more, visit https://jerichoroad.org.au/chaplaincy/training/ or contact the Senior Chaplain by email on seniorchaplain@jerichoroad.org.au or by phone on 0449 903 508.

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