Anytime a disaster happens that damages and destroys lives people ask why did it happen. Questions, if not immediately, eventually ask why God did not prevent the disaster.
People react in different ways to trauma, but all in some way and in some timeframe ask questions about life and death.
Trauma knocks us off of our inner compass. We no longer feel grounded or know where we are supposed to go. We might even feel life no longer has purpose.
In a traumatic event as the disaster in West, Texas, persons affected want to know what is real and unchanging.
The traumatic situation does not need to be something on a grand scale as this event. It can be something as personal as a miscarriage or the death of a grandparent. The tenderness and openness the traumatized person has is the same as they would have from an event that impacts several people.
If Christians are ready to respond immediately and for the duration, people experiencing tragedy and trauma receive comfort, compassion, understanding, and listening ears to help process what has happened to them.
Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) is an organization in Austin, Texas that prepares people for immediate response to those in need. Part of their vision and mission statement says the following:
“We believe we can be an asset to the Body of Christ by organizing and mobilizing their resources so they can effectively and efficiently focus on the people affected by tragedy. By working together, we believe lives will be transformed in the name of Jesus Christ.”
What is a missional lifestyle? It is leaving your context and entering the context of someone else’s life.
It probably is uncomfortable entering the world of someone who has experienced a tragedy, but that is exactly what the Good Samaritan story is all about. Showing mercy to someone else opens their souls to the transformation of Jesus Christ.
How should you respond?
First, I encourage you to visit ADRN’s site to give to the West, Texas disaster fund. Second, read on the ADRN site how you can prepare yourself to respond to those experiencing trauma.
Do you think it is right for Christians to bring Jesus Christ into the conversation with someone experiencing trauma?