Monday, April 04, 2011

Responding to Someone's Foot in the Mouth

One of the guys at church was admiring Zoe after church on Sunday morning. He teased Rachel that she was not keeping up with Katie. Katie has two kids, and Rachel doesn't have any yet.

I was stunned. I couldn't think what to say.

Rachel's face was pretty stunned too. But she gently and kindly responded, "I suffered a miscarriage in December." The man dropped the teasing, apologized, and expressed sorrow for their loss.

It was awkward.

But what do you do? He didn't mean anything hurtful by his teasing. Rachel didn't want to make him feel bad for having brought it up. But what do you do?

Seems to me that the honest way Rachel responded was perfect. She didn't lie or pretend; neither did she blow up. He could not undo what he'd said, but he could say he was sorry. Sometimes that's all that can be done. Honesty and concern and forgiveness go a long way to smoothing over those blunders that sinners commit against each other. I was truly quite impressed with how my daughter handled the interchange.


  1. I had a similar situation happen as well, and you just have to calmly say what happened and hope that there are no awkward feelings later.

    My response changes depending on my mood for the day, sometimes I just don't want to talk to people about our loss and other times I am fine with just saying "We were pregnant but lost our baby in December, we are going to start trying again soon." and just leave it at that. I hate to make people feel uncomfortable too, but sometimes that is hard to avoid.

  2. My husband and I were married for 8 years before finally getting pregnant with our daughter. I often didn't speak up about the reason we didn't have any kids (infertility) because I learned that that would usually just bring more hard-to-swallow "joking" comments (you need to relax, just adopt, etc.).

    I can't imagine dealing with those situations with the pain of miscarriage on top of it all. I think Rachel handled it perfectly, with honesty and grace.