In times of great loss, words can either be very healing

or very hurtful.

The past four weeks have ravaged our country. Hurricane Harvey roared in with a vengeance, fires spread quickly in the northwest, Irma mauled the islands as she marched unrelentingly toward Florida. Now Maria has battered the Caribbean again. 

Glued to the news, like many of you, I watch in horror and weep. The devastation these rampant disasters leave behind is incomprehensible. People who have lost everything stand in shock sifting through rubble looking for any connection to the life they once knew. 

The relief efforts have been valiant and generous. Assistance will be needed for months, even years, to come. It is encouraging to see hundreds pour into the battered areas to help.  Selflessly people head south longing to serve – even if they feel woefully ill equipped.  They lend their time, hands, and muscles to clear away debris but don’t know what to say when face-to-face with people who have lost so much. 

I found myself longing to help, longing to go, longing to meet with victims to listen, to help support the weight of their stories and nightmares. Not knowing where to start, I brought an idea to my leaders two weeks ago. In response to the needs in the wake of hurricanes Harvey & Irma, our Innovation Team quickly put together two short videos specifically designed for those going on relief trips or otherwise entering into tragic situations. 
In the video (above) I provide brief tips on how to respect the victims through compassionate listening.  

The other video invites people to engage with the tragedies happening around us: Chaos comes with an invitation

I’m not sure when, or if, I can go in person, but perhaps helping those who ARE going be better prepared may be a start.

Many have already shared this 11-minute video with their churches, students, and volunteers who will be participating in relief efforts and/or those who may respond to tragedies on a more local level. Please feel free to pass it along.  You may also want to post this video on Facebook as it might reach many more who could benefit.

May each of us bring what we have to be Jesus’ hands and heart to those in desperate need.                                                      

Grief Training       Oct 1-5

Pray for Michael and I as we attend training in Colorado on The Ghosts of Grief. Many people have carried grief for years but have never learned, or known how, to mourn. The suppressed pain compounds over time often creating even more havoc. Pray for our minds to be sharp and our hearts to be wide open.

I couldn’t do this without you!  Thank you for partnering with me!