How do we deal with mass shootings such as yesterday’s Texas church massacre?
Like countless other Christians, yesterday I dressed up and went to church to worship God. With no thought to my safety, I went to offer thanks for Jesus’ saving grace and for everything that God has blessed me with.
So did the members of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Again, I ask: how do we deal with it all?
I don’t have the answers, so I look to some suggestions of others.
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).”
According Fox News Insider, one of the older witnesses referred to this Bible verse:
This is going to be my verse of the week. I’m going to meditate on it every day because this is my life’s goal. We who love the Lord will seek to be ambassadors of love and peace. That’s what we’re all about.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
We can pray for intense healing of emotions. Not only for those who were injured and the victims’ families, but for those who seek to do harm to others. We can pray that they will get the mental help that they need. And we can pray for our country.
On Oct 02, 2017, Dr. Melanie Greenberg posted on the Psychology Today website, “Coping with the Psychological Trauma of a Mass Shooting: How to cope psychologically when the world no longer feels safe.”
She starts out by explaining that a mass shooting can shake your belief that our world is safe, most people are generally good, and good things happen to good people.
To counter the dissonance forced at us from yesterday’s massacre, Dr. Greenberg suggests that we acknowledge our feelings of outrage, distress, and sadness. Try to do something good for others, like volunteering. Accept that the world isn’t always a safe place, and we can’t always protect ourselves and our families. Let your kids know that this type of thing (for all the media attention) is very rare and unlikely to happen to them. Talk to someone like a friend, minister, or counselor if you need to work through your feelings.
I’ll add a couple of ideas that I’ve read at other sources–Sometimes writing about terrible events helps to put them into perspective. At least, it’s helping me (some) to share with you all about ways to cope. Second, there does seem to be more good people in the world than bad. Otherwise, so many people wouldn’t be as horrified about the evil that occurred yesterday.
Most important, trust in God. God didn’t cause the evil to happen. The evil one did. I hope that makes us even more determined to follow the Source of all love, beauty, and goodness. The One who ultimately will bring the whole world to justice. If you want to know more about Him, please send me an email.