If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t speak.
A parishioner told me that recently. I’m in a new parish, still meeting new people. Recently I was at a Slava; which they observed very quietly. It was mid afternoon, warm and sunny outside, just the husband and wife inside. I finished with the cutting of the Slava Kolach and the host asked if I have time for a drink. I said yes. His wife then asked me to eat with them. I said yes again. Making small talk I asked if they had children. They have a son. They had another son who was killed in a car accident, the husband said. He had a rough, hard working face. His voice was deep and strong. He said he doesn’t talk about what happened to his son. I didn’t say anything. But he continued, It happened on Mother’s Day…..And he continued. In the end he told me he hasn’t spoken about it this with anyone before. I didn’t know what to do say. He said, God forbid that it happen to any family. Finally I told him that one who hasn’t experienced it doesn’t know what words to use. He agreed, nodded and said, If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t speak.
Sometimes it’s not the right words we’re waiting to hear but someone who will listen to us at the right time.