How to survive a tragedy?
In lieu of everything that is happening in our world today it could be extremely difficult to not be overwhelmed by grief and negative view-points. A large example is the Brussels attacks. In the midst of a tragic display of human violence and inhuman acts, it is easy for us to throw all grace and appreciation out of the widow, which allows our heart to be overtaken by despair, grief and resentment.
Too often our lives outcomes come from the events of our everyday lives and not the attitude that we carry through the good and the bad. Our news and media are usually compiled with angry victims who seek vengeance or sorrowful politicians that “promise” to find the cause of this event. It is very uncommon for us to read an article or see a news clip that shows a victim that expresses grace and composure during the difficult event.
Throughout all difficulties we instinctively look for the sign of hope that will comfort us through the difficult times that are being faced.
The Word of God has made this promise to us, “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2Corinthians 1:3-4
As we read through 2Corinthians, we see that God offers comfort to the hurting people of the world that we live. As God comforts us, we are asked to comfort the rest that are hurting around us with the same comfort that God gives to us.
In this passage, we see that as a people we are not promised that we would have a perfect life. History has also shown us that the world that we live in can be self-destructive, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to live for.
I recently read an article on CNN.com about a survivor of the Brussels attack. The article describes the mindset of the survivor as she races through the airport as devastation and destruction falls down around her. You see, this young lady and her husband had something bigger to live for; they were expecting their first child!
After surviving the devastation, the mother wrote a letter to her unborn. As I read through the excerpts of the letter, I was comforted to know that the mother-to-be realized that her life was valuable as was the life of the child that she carried.
The mother wrote, “"And no matter where humanity is today, I just want to tell you that life is a wonderful thing, and the world is really full of remarkable people.”
This phrase warmed my heart. In the midst of total chaos and destruction, this young mother showed a warmth and kinder side of an otherwise dark and sinister world. In a time where so many have abandoned their faith of humanity, it is great to know that there are handfuls of people who see the people in this darkness as a “wonderful thing.”
The mother continues in the letter to the unborn, “You didn't just give mum and dad faith and reason to live; you gave the awareness and presence of mind like never before.”
It is important to realize what we live for. It is important to realize our purpose in life and to continuously strive for that goal.
“I do hope with all my heart that you are born into a better world, and if not, then you do absolute best to make it that.”
This sentence is crucial to understanding how to survive in a tragedy. When we are facing a tragedy it is important that we look for the lesson that we can learn from the tragic events. In the event of the surviving mother, she seemed to realized the value that we life impacts the life of her unborn child. I believe that she realized how precious her life is as well the life of her husband and child.
The next thing that we learn from this letter is that we need to have hope in that the world will be better in the future. That same hope will cause us to see the best in the people that surround us and the environment that forms us. Lastly, if the world is not showing it’s better side, we are challenged to not only look for the best in the wonderful world that we live, but we are obligated to create a world that leaves a better, loving world for the next generation.
To review verse four of 2Corthinians chapter 1, When God comforts us in our times of difficulty (regardless of what the difficulties are) we are called to return to the lives of the hurting people and help them find comfort.
I believe this letter to her unborn was, not only, this mother’s way of finding comfort (as she got to organize her thoughts on the incident and the impact) but it also was her way of comforting the lives of any and all who read the letter (including her child).
The letter could be used as a tool to remind many to not lose hope on the miracle of life in a time of death. Also described in the mother’s words is a cry out to not let the chaos that surrounds consumes and change our hearts.
My prayer is that God would comfort the hearts of those impacted by these attacks. I also pray that these loving words of a mother-to-be would be found in our hearts and in our actions.
"May you always be brave and healthy.”
One mission and One purpose
Recently I have been spending more and more time in the gym. Now, I must admit to hearing that one of the primary reasons that people don’t enjoy gyms is because they feel intimidated or they feel that they shouldn’t be in that atmosphere. In summary, the person doesn’t feel like they fit in or belong.
Truth be told, there have been too many times where I didn’t fit in and I didn’t belong. I have found myself in large groups of people and I realized that I could try and change who I am, but I wouldn’t belong.
Not fitting in can be extremely painful and lonely. It can cause depression and internal conflict within oneself, which causes self-doubt.
It is because of this topic of rejection that I bring up this particular gym that I have recently been going to. As you enter the gym doors and explore through countless workout equipment and machines, you will encounter signs on the walls such as this:
One day I read through this sign and thought to myself, “I really like this.” To be honest, I liked the way that this paragraph was written as a personal mission statement for the gym, giving it a deeper sense of purpose. I also think it’s important to point out that the key words that are highlighted give the reader the impression that the employees at this particular gym brand values their customers beyond the almighty dollar sign.
Words such as “Respected”, “Anyone”, and “Judgment Free Zone” are key words that give the idea of a place that will help those who join transform their lives physically, which in turn changes lives emotionally and mentally.
This is an atmosphere that transforms the world that we live in. When the people involved feel like they belong and are respected by those that they come in contact with, they will strive to be their best. Due to the fact that they give their best effort in the training facility of the gym, they will receive the best results.
I think this is so valuable in our everyday lives. Not only in athletics, but in every aspect of our physically lives as well as our spiritual lives is it important for us to feel like we fit in.
With this message we can transform lives and create a community that builds upon itself. We can show that even though we are all different, we are all created by the same God. Let’s allow our hearts and our minds to adjust so that we can live in a world where we are more accepting of our differences and we are more supportive of each other’s efforts to make the world before for others around us.
I’ll leave us with this valuable quote from this poster that hangs in this life-changing gym. “We need you, because face it, our planet wouldn’t be the same without you. You belong!”
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.