And look! The tears of the oppressed,
But they have no comforter--
On the side of their oppressors there is power,
But they have no comforter.
Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead,
More than the living who are still alive.
Yet, better than both is he who has never existed,
Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun."
This speaks so clearly of hopelessness. In the book of Ecclesiastes, the underlying theme is that life without God is "vanity and grasping for the wind."
We live in a painful, hopeless, empty world. Everyone is broken, breaking, or has been that way. How many people cry themselves to sleep every night? How many people struggle each day just to get out of bed because the reality is they do not want to be alive? How many people wish they never existed?
And it will stay that way unless we do something. Unless we help them.
Yes, the way to help the broken is to speak life, joy, and love into their lives, but I believe we must first enter their pain with them. We must go to the hopeless, empty hole of life without Christ before we can truly share the glory of a heart filled with His Spirit.
And we must share in the endless struggles, deepening pain, and consuming depression of this life to let people know they are not alone. We must relate to them on this level, let them know we've been there, and even dwell with them in that moment. But then we must leave them with a message of hope. The hope of our Saviour, who is the reason we can live a life that is not in vain.