Some of the young people I work with have recently lost a good friend in a tragic accident. As youth workers we are confronting the issue of how we respond to this. We want to offer hope, comfort and space to reflect on, and deal with, the situation. We don’t want, in any way, to abuse or manipulate the situation (sadly something which I believe could easily happen in some faith based youth work contexts). Whilst praying and thinking about the situation my thoughts inevitably found their way to Jesus’ sermon on the mount. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” What does that mean? How is it really experienced in a way that makes any lived and felt difference to these lads lives? I realised I don’t have a clue what the answers are to these questions. I also realised that this is the answer to my earlier question about how we should respond. How can you be manipulating someone if you are in a position in which you have the questions and they may just have the answers? They are the ones who are mourning (I am very sad about this young life cut short, but I didn’t actually know him). They are the ones who may just be experiencing this ‘comfort’ that Jesus talked about. These lads are often seen and labelled as anti-social, criminal, in need of learning and changing. In at least this situation though, it is me who needs to learn from them. I think I’ll go and ask them what on earth Jesus was talking about.