Friday, April 12, 2013

Redeeming Cliche

This week I've been journeying with thousands of others through the death of a friend. You can read my last post, Remembering Ryan  to read more on his story. 

I struggled to know what to say, how to say it to express my feelings, my sorrow and the cry of my heart. I wanted to tell the family, his wife how sorry I was and how much I will miss him. I wanted them to know that I would do anything to help them and that I was there and willing. 

But I didn't want to be cliche. I didn't want to sound like a greeting card or a cheesy Christian bookstore plaque. 

I've had this feeling before. Usually I want to be original. I try to think of a funny way to phrase it for my Facebook status or tweet. How can I say it better and more uniquely than anyone else? I don't like being cliche. 

This time, I just didn't know what to say. It felt like everything I could think of was cliche. 

He's in a better place. 

Praise God he's not hurting anymore. 

We will see him again someday. 

I'm so sorry. 

Please let me know if I can do anything. 

Things you're supposed to say. Things that are probably annoying and not very helpful to hear. 

But they're true. 

I do believe he's in a better place and not hurting anymore.

I am excited to see him again someday.

 I really am sorry and I really do want to help. 

What about the phrases that aren't cliche? 

I'm sorry. 

I love you.

Thank you. 

Those don't go out of style. You don't get tired of hearing them. We really do mean them. 

There are some things we say because we feel like we're supposed to. There are others we say because we really mean them. 

And there are days when we just don't know what to say. And today, today is one of those days. 

As I sit here, hours away from visitation and funeral, I don't know what I'm going to say today. I don't know how I'm going to respond when other people use phrases that I deem as cliche or just don't like. 

But I do know this. We're sincere. You're sincere and I'm sincere. I might fall on words that are comfortable or sound poetic but know that I mean it. 


Lord may these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. May the things I say and the way I interact, cliche or not, bring honor and glory to you alone. 

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