When We ‘Share’ Tragedy

I’m a big fan of the internet. I love reading stories about people from all over the world. I think it has opened my eyes to both incredible stories of love while also exposing my heart to a sizable amount of tragedies and injustices.

It’s because of the latter that I find myself struggling in my faith at times. Today I learned that a homeless woman in Arizona left her two children in the car in incredibly hot temperatures while she was in a job interview for an hour. Even as I type it, my heart hurts. I feel sick to my stomach for the woman AND for the kids.

I think we’re exposed to more hurt, suffering, and tragedy in the world than our souls were designed to carry.

Back in the day, you heard mostly about suffering and tragedy in your own community, and while very difficult because it happened to family or friends, it was manageable. We could grieve, serve, comfort, and share the burden as a community. Now, we hear about horrible things all the time. The tragedy comes in the form of a 500 word news article or blog post. Perhaps for some, it’s easy to read and move on. For others, you sit and think and pray and maybe even cry as you think about these REAL people with REAL hurt.

I think it can do real damage to our souls…..even when our souls are fixed on Jesus.

The questions start coming — too hard and too often. Why did God let this happen? Why is this situation so helpless? Who is coming alongside that family? What can I do (probably nothing)? Where is God? Why is there so much pain? Suffering? Horrible tragedy? It’s the age old question that continues to come up because our hearts are never quite satisfied with the answers we receive.

God begins to look more absent and powerless when we’re bombarded with story after story after story of hopelessness. pain. real peoples lives. many of them without Jesus.

Sometimes I just decide to refuse to click- I will not read one more sad story that I can’t do a thing about. But, the damage is done. I’ve already been exposed a lifetime worth of others’ tragedies.

I don’t think there is an easy way out of this situation. Doubt and fear and questioning have always been a part of the spiritual journey. We press in, cry out to God with our fears and doubts and questions, and then hold on tightly to the stories of faith, hope, and love.


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