When I saw the faces of those traumatized following the shooting in
Connecticuttoday I felt helpless. I felt a deep-seated longing to serve those who were hurting. But I quickly concluded that praying for victims and first- responders alike was my exclusive responsibility. And then I realized that I had reached a premature conclusion.
I can show respect for the traumatized in
Connecticut by serving those who are hurting in my own community. The circumstances are obviously much different. But nevertheless there are victims of heinous crimes in our own communities. And there are people in deep grief in our own sphere of influence. They are in need of ongoing compassion and care. How can I express such concern in specific ways?
I am determined to stop every time I think about those precious children and educators who lost their lives today. I am going to stop and think about my teacher friends who are committed to loving the children entrusted to them every single day. And I am going to think about all of the sweet kids that I know. How can I better love on both groups?
And then there are first responders. Police officers, firefighters, and medics….I am partial to them, and I have been for years. I can only pray for those that responded to the tragedy today. But I can do a lot more for those that serve agencies entrusted to my care. But what does it mean to be entrusted with the spiritual care of such individuals?
I am not feeling quite as helpless. In fact I don’t have that luxury. I don’t have time to be helpless. There is too much needed work to be done. But what does it look like to serve those who are truly hurting? I am willing to ask that question, because it is the only action outside of prayer that I can take on behalf of those whose lives were turned inside out today.