Monday, June 13, 2016

Four Steps for Responding to Crisis (In Light of the Orlando Shootings)

The two attacks in Orlando this past weekend (both on the night club and on singer Christina Grimmie) left many confused and traumatized. As of today we know more than 50 are dead and another 50 wounded. And the number keeps climbing. What can we do to show the love of God to those hurting? Below are a few suggestions that apply not only to a community crisis like we experienced yesterday, but also to divorce or other events that cause hurting and require caring recovery. Remember these 4 things: 

1. Take care of yourself first. This means listening to your own emotions and dealing with your own level of fear. Pay attention to your own trauma so you can manage any overwhelming emotions. Talk it out or write it down somewhere. Draw pictures if you need to. Anything to help you process.

2. Take care of family and friends second. Stabilize your emotions, and then reach out with compassion to those close to you. They need help too--especially teens and children.

3. Finally, (and only after you have helped yourself and your immediate family and friends) help others. But not just anyone. Seek out those most traumatized by the event. 

4. Pray. Pray for peace and comfort for yourself, your family and for those involved you may never meet in person. Nothing trumps intercession.

The ripple effect of any crisis is far reaching. But these same ripples remind us how to reach out to others. Talk to the people in the impact zone or “ground zero” first, and then you can reach out to people layer by layer. It might be an awful crisis, but together we can get through this.

This is a great opportunity to show the love and compassion of Christ. Psalm 91 is a perfect reference to stabilize someone during crisis. This is hope, but our only real hope is in Christ Jesus. Model his love when reaching out to the hurting.