When Chris Hedges was a teenager, he asked his father, a Presbyterian minister, what he said when he visited people who had recently lost a loved one. He thought surely his father would have some wisdom to dispense. "Mostly I make the coffee," his father responded. At the time, Hedges disdained this response, but now he honors it. "There is little to do in the face of death but make the coffee. We have no words to blunt its awfulness. It was his presence, more than anything he could say, that mattered."
My Kind of Guy
From the October 4th issue of Christian Century: