Once when I was in Holland I
stayed with a Dutch family for a few days. One day
the mother went to the store and said she would be
right back. I didn't expect any dramas, but soon one
of her daughters, about 7 years old, came downstairs
crying. I was sitting at the computer and knew I
should do something, but wasn't sure what that
something was, since I couldn't speak a word of
Dutch. The girl sat on the sofa and looked over at
me. I decided to go sit next to her.
She moved a bit closer to me
and I put my arm around her to comfort her in the
only way I could think of. First she put her head
into my chest and cried. Then she looked up for a few
seconds. Next she started talking. But since it was
in Dutch, I understood almost nothing at all. The
only thing I did understand was name of her sister,
who she had been upstairs with. I assumed they got
into some kind of argument and that is why she came
down crying. I just held her and gently touched the
top of her head, still wondering what else I could or
should do, and hoping for her mother to come back to
save me! But that didn't happen.
Instead, in about one minute or
less, the girl looked up at me and smiled. Then she
got up and went back to play. The whole time I had
said absolutely nothing.
This showed me the value of a
silent hug. It also showed me that you don't need to
say anything to comfort someone. You don't need to
talk them out of their pain. Just be there for them
and the pain will pass right out of them.