When I was younger, in my certainty-loving, ultra-controlled churches, there was a right way to hurt and a wrong way. Comfort and compassion were for those who had done no wrong, who had been brave, who had managed to save a few people on their way out of the burning building. Comfort and compassion waited to see how you would handle your grief.
Asking questions or pointing out flaws, especially of those in authority, turned into a me-problem. My tone. My disrespect. My ingratitude.
Prophets are told their anxiety disqualifies them. Anxiety is the thing that tells you something is off, friends. Of course prophets have anxiety. Maybe not chronically, but also, maybe chronically.
Helpers are told to withhold grace. They must choose between quenching the spirit and obeying authority while everybody waits for the hurting person to say the magic words.
I believe we can do better, but we have to get rid of some things first. We have to get rid of certainty and hierarchy. We have to welcome back the prophets, and embrace mystery and belonging.
Tolerance of question-askers and mess-makers is not the goal. Those are the prophets, the new day welcomers. They are essential. They should be celebrated.