Wiping away tears doesn’t mean, “Quit crying.” The Bible says, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.” This is true consolation. This is relief from suffering. When the misery index is high, it’s helpful to remember that God brings consolation after discipline. He’s called “The God of all comfort.” Not like your comfortable chair, or your comfy slippers, but the kind of comfort we need when we are in deep anguish. And this comfort from the Lord doesn’t stop with us–it is to be extended to others. In fact, it is often by comforting others that many have found deep consolation for themselves.
Compassion can be a tough skill. It requires a capacitance and willingness to empathize with others. When you’re a leader, it can be tempting to think that your compassion will be exploited–that people will become lazy, that you’ll be perceived as weak, that you’ll lose respect–and along with it, the power to get things done. However, I’ve found the opposite to be true. Granted, there may be some that take advantage of you–but I think the vast majority of your best people will only become more loyal and motivated if they know you care about their suffering. Whenever appropriate and possible show up. Offer your sincere condolences. Weep with those who are weeping.