Dealing with tragedy
In the news this morning, headlines shared the recent shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Thousands of prayers are being shared via internet. I quickly reviewed other posts I and others have shared and am re-sending them via facebook, blog and twitter. Here is my contribution to the wave of healing going on.
We have all had these experiences when the surprise of an abrupt ending
lands in our laps: it can be personal – death of a loved one, a divorce, a job
is cut, an injustice done, and so on, or it can be larger – a tragedy in
the community, a national threat, or devastating weather or political
How have you dealt with this prayerfully? Here is what I have found
First - healing the shock
When the abrupt change happens, there is a
likely to be a feeling of betrayal, anger and in some cases, distrust of what
can sometimes seem to be a premeditated attack. Overcoming this can be done by
prayer – a still and quiet holding to the fact that good is not helpless. Even
though this initial action may have caused one's world to be turned upside down,
we have a more active faculty of order and reason. We can stand on the fact that
we have the spiritual substance to overcome what may seem to be an abrupt or an
unjust end. The material and the personal may have taken a major hit, but we
have the spiritual ability to be calm and confident of good.
Second - determining where you stand
In the aftermath of an ending, there
may be confusion, disorientation. Sometimes there is a search to blame or shame
another person for this disruption. Other times despair would tempt us to
give in to hopelessness. Anything unethical, unjust, confusing, violent or
ignorant can be considered evil - but it is important to know that evil is never
a person, place or thing. Hatred cannot happen if we don't agree to it. So we
don't have to agree to confusion or blame. These things only have the power we
give it. It can be countered by understanding that we are spiritual beings, not
vulnerable to fluctuating conditions, but thinking, loving, and generous people
with the ability to move forward.
Third - determining where others stand
We are made to love. That is
our nature. Those who have been most impacted by this abrupt event are
still embraced in Love, God's Love. Love's very nature is pure, permanent
and active. Love continues to operate in everyone's lives. Everyone
involved are impacted and influenced by Love. Those who have generated the
abrupt ending are also spiritual. Those who have engaged in evil need the
purging power of forgiveness in order to feel their freedom. Those who
have felt the brunt of the event are fundamentally spiritual. We can pray
and affirm their spiritual grounding is firm. God's love is always present
– comforting, assuring, nurturing and calming. We can appeal to man's
higher nature - to reason, order, generosity, lovingkindness and thoughtfulness
– all reflections of God's love.
Fourth – Trust and healing
Heartbreak, sadness, anger, depression and
anxiety about what has happened and about the future are all things that will
change. None of those aspects of life are forever. They are the absence of the
somethingness of what is spiritual. Love is a force so strong, that in the
Bible, Love is synonymous with God. God is pure good "with no variableness
neither shadow of turning." Love transforms, renews and invigorates our lives.
Love is the true north and is all that we are - infinitely, forever. We can
never be separate from this love because it is what we are made of and what
guides us to fulfill our purpose, and to do good to others. This is where we
find healing and this is what we accept.
We will never be the same. Our sense of justice is strengthened, our
commitment to help others is deepened, and our alertness to others' needs is
And there is much more to be done. The world needs the poise, breadth,
confidence and vision of our prayers. It needs our seasoned experience in
fighting battles and weathering storms. It needs our grace to move forward with
compassion and our insistence that greater good come from any disturbance – no
matter how great or small.
(This is a re-write of another one of my posts about dealing with tragedy written in 2009.)
7/20/2012 05:51:36 am
Thank you Kim, for these healing, helpful ideas.
Nodding with all you've penned and thank I for doing just that... A fave author Mary Baker Eddy writes "divine love always has met and always will meet every human need" and what I am striving to defend as I pray is that those needs be made known and that we stay alert to them as
7/20/2012 09:06:37 am
This was just what I needed to remind me of the importance of steadfastness to Truth, a calm trust in the presence of God and His love for us all. Thank you.
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Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016