A Great Disturbance in the Force: The Sequel

{Please see the first part of this post here.}


Why does it sadden me that we cannot be always and intensely aware of the suffering in our world? I suppose it’s because it seems to me that, apart from a public tragedy such as the Boston Marathon bombing or numerous others of which we are all aware, many shy away from those who are hurting, or at the very least the wounded become the forgotten ~ not necessarily on purpose, but simply as a matter of course. (I am guilty of this myself. Most definitely.) I know what it’s like to be on the other side, to be the one who wants someone to bear witness to my suffering, even as others may think I should be ‘over it by now’, or are simply unaware of my struggle.

A great disturbance in the Force deserves a great deal of attention.

I believe we are created for connection, and sometimes connecting to someone means feeling their pain. Just as we rejoice with those who rejoice, we need to weep with those who weep. We need to celebrate with one another when there is cause, and we also need to mourn together when necessary. This isn’t easy. It isn’t pleasant. But it’s right and necessary if we are to fully embrace the entirety of who we were made to be.

We cannot all fly to Boston, or Iran or Pakistan, to comfort those in need or pain. Thankfully we will not all experience the trauma of being present at some type of public disaster so that we can step in to offer aid in the midst of violence or loss. But we can all be aware of those around us, if we so choose.

We can seek out the hurting; we can step in without judgment or verdict. We can set aside our own opinion of what we think those in crisis must do, and simply be. Be with someone whose heart is breaking. Hold their hand. Enter into grief with another, refusing to be scared away by the fact that you do not (and cannot) have all the answers. Sit together in silence. Or ask a question about their loss. You may be surprised to learn that they really want to talk about it. Allow them the necessary depth and length of their grief. You would want no less were you in their situation.

I am not here to debate the Why of any tragedy. Whatever your belief or lack thereof may be, the fact remains that sorrow, loss, and heartache surround us. We live in a world where violence, death, and grief are not new, but are certainly more quickly able to be made known than at any other time in history. We may choose to rail against the injustice of suffering, but that makes us no less culpable in relieving what distress we are able.

We have seen an outpouring of goodness in response to an act of destructive aggression. Individuals, groups, even cities have stepped in to show support and solidarity to those reeling and recovering from the attack. And then there were those Bostonians who opened  their businesses, homes, and hearts in the immediate aftermath of the bombing. They had no answers for those who were suffering. They were simply willing to do the best they could with what they had. They took a risk and chose to enter in. May we be bold enough to daily do the same in our own relationships and communities.


© Monica Simpson and Help To Hope, 2013


One thought on “A Great Disturbance in the Force: The Sequel

  1. Pingback: A Great Disturbance in the Force | Help To Hope

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