Once again, we see the shocking and disturbing images through the media of an event that has ripped peoples’ homes and lives apart. We hear the stories from the victims and their families and our hearts break as we see their pain and shock of such overwhelming grief and loss. I try to imagine what they must feel but my mind won’t allow it. It’s impossible for me to understand the magnitude of their grief. I’m talking about the Oklahoma/Texas tornadoes, the bombings in Boston, recent school shootings, wildfires, earthquakes and so much more. Our hearts hurt for those grieving and we feel helpless as we watch their devastation unfold in front of us.
Closer Than You Think
Watching the endless feed of information and images from the media can put a surreal feeling to these events. It’s almost like the brain tries to protect the heart, so it attempts to see it all as a “movie“ rather than someone’s reality. Watching these sometimes-personal images through the media can feel voyeuristic, a sort of invasion of privacy. Without realizing it, we may tend to view these events as distant when indeed they are not. The people we see suffering are our neighbors, coworkers, family and friends; they are our fellow countrymen. The close proximity of such devastation is unsettling. The victims of these tragic events are not oceans apart from us, they are here near us and they need our help.
What Can I Do?
You may ask, ”What could I possibly do to relieve the pain in such overwhelming disasters?” Each and every person can do something! The grief of these victims cannot be erased but it can be eased by the compassionate and practical actions of those reaching out to help. You can do something of value; your actions will indeed make a difference. You can give time, money, support and/or prayers. Volunteers are needed in many capacities, as well as providing food, clothes, supplies and monetary donations to shelters, organizations and departments of first responders. After traumatic events such as these, there are scholarships and other funds organized to help victims and their families. Many of them are set up in the honor and remembrance of those who lost their lives. Donations to those now, and in the future, will help people in many ways for years to come.
If you are a griever for whatever reason, I challenge you to reach out to fellow grievers in their time of need. Help in any way you can; every act of generosity will help someone in some way. You will also reap the rewards of your kind acts – your heart will be lighter and your spirit will be stronger as you help another griever. When assisting others in their time of need, you will also discover encouragement, hope and altruistic love are contagious.
Please check for donation centers/churches in your area or contact any of the following organizations:
- American Red Cross redcross.org
- Samaritan’s Purse samaritanspurse.org
- World Vision worldvision.org
There is always hope in the face of disaster. We have witnessed extreme gratitude, positive outlook, determination and strength in those affected by these tragedies. I am personally encouraged by their display of hope shining through their grief.
I pray comfort and continued strength for all suffering today with blessings and favor as they rebuild their lives. God bless the first responders and volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others.
If you are the victim of a devastating event, let us know what helped you the most?
Sometimes we’re apprehensive about helping someone we don’t personally know, how would you encourage “strangers” to become involved?
Let me know of any organizations or funds that need our help.