“Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life”.
Psalm 119: 49-50
I’m still not out of revelations to share from my visit with “Jesus” almost two weeks ago. It was that profound! Another thing I took from that conversation was the importance of employing SUPPORT – especially when life gives us way more than we can handle.
The absolute sadness and tragedy of this past week’s events are still very much on everyone’s minds. Our hearts go out to those who died in the mass shooting and the little boy who was snatched by the alligator. I’m particularly worried about those left behind. After all of the memorials and funerals are over – when the world goes on “as usual,” how will the family members of these people find the strength to get out of bed in the morning? Will grief consume them? I pray that they have faith to sustain them.
There are many different forms that support may take: scripture reading, prayer, exercise, meditation, medication, therapy or a confidant to share with, gardening (or something that helps you to connect with the beauty of God’s creation), good nutrition, reaching out to help others, receiving the sacraments frequently… My visitor experienced a great loss in her life. I asked how she managed to continue to put one foot in front of the other – to get out of bed when she’d surely rather withdraw.
She told me that withdrawing for a time and sitting with the pain is necessary for healing. Crying can be downright therapeutic. She also emphasized the importance of using lots of support of different types like the ones listed above. She reminded me that we only have to “Do Today.” We really mess ourselves up when we look too far down the road saying, “How will I be able to sustain this horrific grief for days and months and even years? I can’t do it!” We can’t do it alone, but we are not alone! There is Someone who wants to carry us – to help us bear the weight of our grief!
Another important aspect of gaining peace in the midst of tragedy is being able to forgive. Forgiveness TRULY is freedom. I have benefitted greatly from the grace of being able to forgive. It was not something that happened overnight – or even something that I could do on my own. That is why I call it a grace! (I will talk more about that another day.)
“Lord, we pray for those who have been devastated by recent tragedies. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayers for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the days ahead.
Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, and in comfort to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of all the community. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.” (Taken from http://www.amm.org/praywithus/tragedy.aspx)