wake of Hurricane Katrina, I find myself awash with
many of the same emotions I experienced during the
days and weeks following the September 11 terrorist
attacks on our nation. Some days I'm weepy.
Some days I'm numb. Some days I'm berating
myself for feeling emotionally funky when there are
so many who are living with the direct
impact of the storm. I almost feel guilty for
suffering emotional distress. After all,
Galveston was spared the wrath of Katrina. I
haven't lost everything I owned. I haven't
been displaced from my home. I haven't gone
hungry or had to wade through filthy flood waters or
been torn apart from my family in the midst of
I visited with a friend of mine who is employed at
BP Amoco in Texas City and inquired how she was
doing, nearly some six months after the explosion
there. She expressed how she alternately
struggles with emotional scars from the event, and
then twinges of guilt for having such feelings since
she suffered no direct physical ramifications from
the blast. She feels like she should be "over
it" in a lot of ways.... that her timetable to
experience grief has long since expired, if she ever
had the right to grieve in the first place.
world where news reports are broadcast 24 hours a
day, every day, there are lots and lots of hours to
fill with images of human suffering. I catch
myself glued to CNN or ABC or whoever is airing
Katrina coverage that I've not previously seen, and
then I'm depressed and nearly paralyzed to do much
else as I try to process this overload to my pysche.
I feel like going about my business is turning my
back on those in need, and yet, there is only so
much I can comprehend in the wake of such loss.
I want to
encourage you to weep with me, to allow yourself the
space to grieve. There is no timetable.
We will each respond in different ways, but it is
important, as Christians, that we do respond as we
grieve for our brothers and sisters in faith.
It is appropriate that we grieve. You have
just as much right to grieve as those in the direct
impact of the storm. As Paul reminds us in 1
Corinthians 12, 12The
body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts;
and though all its parts are many, they form one
body. So it is with Christ.
13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into
one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and
we were all given the one Spirit to drink...
26If one part suffers,
every part suffers with it; if one part is honored,
every part rejoices with it.
And as I
sit here musing, I wonder how very many tears God
must shed for us, His beloved creation, His very
children. Surely God suffers in each of our
sufferings, just as we believe God rejoices with us.
when I've got no answers, when I'm feeling more than
overwhelmed, when I'm at a loss for where the next
step should land, I turn to Scripture and come upon
something like this passage in the 30th chapter of
19. . . you will weep no more. How gracious he
will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears,
he will answer you. 20
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity
and the water of affliction, your teachers will be
hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see
them. 21 Whether you
turn to the right or to the left, your ears will
hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way;
walk in it."
Grace and peace
to you as you journey.
Yours in Christ,