The other day, my three-year-old daughter was holding her baby doll and shushing it, using the same little rhythm over and over again. I didn’t notice it at first, but then it hit me – it was the tune of “Jingle Bells.”
No way, I thought.
I smiled. That was it – that was the same song I used to shush her with when she was an infant and had trouble sleeping. I would sit down, put my legs together, lay her body on my knees, cup her head in my hands, and move my legs left to right while shushing the rhythm to “Jingle Bells.” God only knows how many hours she heard me doing that when she was a baby. And somehow, somehow, her brain had preserved the memory and recalled it as a comforting technique.
Something supernatural happens whenever we comfort someone by sitting with them in the pain, listening to them, or crying with them. In those moments when we truly “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15), we give others a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit; because it’s the kind of comfort we’ve received from the Spirit before. We may not realize where we learned how to love like that; but when He sees us, I’m sure He smiles, because in doing so, we are imitating our Heavenly Father.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV).