Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured into baking soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart
To take away someone’s winter coat in –40°C weather would be cruel! To pour vinegar on an open wound would sting, effervescing like vinegar reacting with baking soda.
Likewise, when a person is grieving, mourning, or burdened, chances are they are in no mood to be chirpy—a seemingly cheerful song could rub them the wrong way.
Now let’s be clear, singing is a wonderful and cathartic form of expression. In this proverb, “singing songs” is a metaphor for insensitive behavior, malarkey, frivolousness, inappropriate jokes, or ignorant comments. Making light of someone’s grieving process is as condescending, irritating, and harmful as taking away a person’s coat in winter.
People need space to grieve their own way. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just be with them: weep when they weep, laugh when they laugh, or sit with them in silence. The comfort comes not in “singing songs,” but in showing deep compassion and empathy.
I’m reminded of a profound and inspiring Bible verse:
Jesus wept (John 11:35).
Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, his friend, the one he loved. Our love, mercy, and compassion for family, friends, and neighbors should motivate all our actions. Trying to push a selfish agenda on a heavy heart is like vinegar poured into baking soda.
Copyright © 2012 Uwana.