What do we offer during the tragedies of this world?
We are often reminded of the harsh reality of the world and the tragedies that we face. In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” As Christians, we know there will be suffering and tragedy; it is one of the many costs of sin. It can become so easy to desensitize ourselves to the tragedies of this world until one particular tragedy hits us so deep that we cry out from our soul. Those moments when we are thrown into the storm and we so desperately want to help and to serve. In moments of panic I’ve asked myself, what on earth can I offer to people in crisis? As Christians we know the answer is nothing without Christ. However, looking past that, what are some things that Christ offers us as tools to use when we are the support to someone in crisis? There will be times when we are the ones in crisis, but when others are facing tragedy, what can we give.
The first thing we can offer is community. Let me start by asking you a question? What brought you to church or to the pinup community in the first place? For me it was the sense of community. In the midst of my own personal tragedy I was embraced and nurtured. Women checked on me, loved on me and encourage me as they continue to do so. Hebrews 10:24-225 says “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Christ provided us with community so that we may call upon the strengths of others when we are weak, to hold us accountable and to keep us prayerful and humble. What is amazing and beautiful about Community is that each embraces the unique and individual gifts of each woman to create a relational masterpiece. And for me the two have become synonymous because every part of my life is filled with God’s love first. When we see someone suffering let’s use that masterpiece God has given us whether it’s through a movie night, bringing a meal to someone or 2:00 a.m. phone calls, or just sitting with someone in silence, we each have something to offer. This brings me to my next point.
Secondly, we offer peace. There are many words that could have been used here: peace, comfort, strength, all meaning the same thing. In times of crisis, we forget how to function and our most fundamental needs. Again, I refer to my own time of tragedy. My mind could never settle, I often joked that I couldn’t “land the plane” but I knew what it was, chaos. I would forget things including forgetting to put gas in my car, or even to eat; if you had asked me my name, I probably would have forgotten that too. I had a friend during this time, Raegan and when I finally found the courage to tell her what was going on she offered me something beautiful: she offered me peace. I never felt obligated to say anything, we could just sit. She made me coffee and fed me, checked on me all the time and constantly offered me comfort. Even though I wasn’t technically alone, it was one of the few times that I could be comfortable in silence. Just sitting with a dear friend. There may be times when someone is going through tragedy, and we have nothing to say; but I will tell you that the most profound thing that can be offered is the peace that can only be found in Christ. Understanding the importance of peace and community leads us finally to the fundamental gift we as Christian women can provide those in crisis: the Gospel.
Therefore, with the upmost importance, we offer Jesus and a ministry. Without Christ, our comfort to others is only superficial but when we provide strength, peace and comfort with a prayerful and Christ-centered mindset we become the vessel for His strength and works which far outlives anything we can offer on our own. I absolutely love the scripture in 1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” We must always remember in times of tragedy, that we are not the ones that bring comfort; the God of all grace is who brings the comfort. My prayer to you is that during times of tragedy, be it a national tragedy, or one close to home, we cling closely to the God of all grace to restore us and work through us to restore others.
If you have time, I suggest watching the following sermon from Lee Strobel which was presented after the shooting in Colorado. The second link is the sermon transcribed.