Isn’t that a pleasant word? The dictionary defines it as “comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort.” Has someone provided solace for you? Have you provided solace for someone?
I watched “Little Miss Sunshine” until very late last night. While I cannot in good conscience recommend the content of the movie at all, I can recommend the message. (I can’t recommend the content due to rampant, vile, foul language, overt drug usage, and inappropriate sexuality.) However, the message of the movie is about love, forgiveness, family, perseverance, and redemption.
What does that have to do with solace? Everything! There is one scene in the movie where the little girl comforts her brother by merely sitting with him, putting her arm around him, and leaning her head on his shoulder. She never utters a word. She just provides comfort in sorrow or trouble.
To me, that is the heart of ministry. We won’t always know the words to say or actions to take. But can’t we just sit with someone? Can’t we take their sorrow on our shoulders? It is not always possible to fix things; sometimes just being there is solace enough. Job’s friends did this for him in his time of great affliction. (One of my professors says that we should all be as Job’s friends – BEFORE they started talking! LOL)
We have another Biblical example of this when Jesus told us this in John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
Jesus, the Lord of all, sent us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to provide us solace. Our job is to share that solace with those around us who need it. I’m pretty sure that’s a full-time job.