I don’t feel better after crying.
Releasing these stress hormones doesn’t change the devastation in Japan. When I first spoke with my children about the heartbreaking realities of the human suffering in Japan, I didn’t know where to start. I knew they had seen the images peppered all over our world. We talked about what they had seen. About the loss of human life.
We read 1 Corinthians 12: 12-30, which says these wondrous words: …God has combined the members of the body…there should be no division in the body, but that it’s parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it…
I asked the boys, how do you feel about this?
I feel guilty, Jeffrey said. I feel terrible. There’s nothing I can do to help.
This is not true, I told him. For if we are one with our brothers and sisters in Japan, we cannot forget this part of our body. If we believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing…that God is love…then the most important thing we can do is pray. We are not helpless while God lives inside of us.
We talked about lament and what it means to join our hearts with the hearts of others. And we prayed. We prayed for comfort, we prayed for peace, we prayed for the loss, the devastation. We prayed to know what to do.
Crying may make me feel better momentarily, but devastation on this large scale calls for more. Annie Dillard says, We are earth’s organs and limbs; we are syllables God utters from his mouth.
My sincere gratitude to John Preston, Psy.D. for introducing me to the work of William Frey.