I walked into my meeting, flipped open my laptop and viewed the headlines for the first time — another mass shooting. This one at a venue that felt all too common, one where I could picture being myself.
I felt vulnerable and scared.
We’re never more than a click away from seeing the latest headline. We read first-person accounts of social injustice and loss from natural disasters. Our heads spin from the dramas playing out on the political stage.
With social media and live video feeds at our fingertips, we can now access the experiences of others — even those we don’t know — in a way that makes us feel as if we’ve lived it out ourselves.
So when I’m left with feelings of fear or anxiety, how should I handle it?
There are many ways we cope with the hard emotions life surfaces. Sometimes, it’s comforting to talk with others — to validate our feelings and to remind ourselves that we’re not alone. Sometimes, we escape into something else: a video game, movie, food, even exercise.
In those moments, it’s my faith that offers the most hope when everything else seems to be unraveling. I’ve experienced sudden loss and understand that no one is immune to the pain and suffering of a broken world. However, as a Christian, I have a lifeboat to reach for when I begin to sink.
I can have hope because I believe that God is still in control. Things might not make sense to me, but I can trust that God isn’t shaken. He is my anchor, tethering me to a new perspective and hope in things that I can’t see but that I can trust.
I trust that He is present in whatever I’m going through. He promises to never leave me or forsake me. I might not have control over what happens in this world, but I do have control over where I go for help and hope.
Learn how to offer others a share of the grace you have received.
I don’t know how to respond as a white American Christian who is part of the majority culture. I can’t fully understand the pain or the depth of the wounds. But I’m still hurting.
No amount of hand-wringing or plotting on my part is going to bring about a repentant heart.
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