Tag  |  tragedy

Look for the Stars

Dr. Jamie Aten, a cancer survivor who researches how people respond to trauma, intimated that when going through adversity, perspective is everything. After Superstorm Sandy ravaged Seaside Heights, New Jersey (USA), one of Aten’s colleagues was deployed to help with relief efforts. She met a man whose roof had been blown away by the strong winds. Instead of wallowing in pessimism, the man gave some surprisingly optimistic advice: “Sometimes, you have to lose the roof to see the stars.” This man chose to see joyful meaning even in a great hardship.

Song in the Night

A poignant love story was told in an August 2016 New York Times article. The title of the article, “I Have No Choice but to Keep Looking,” reflects the tenacious affections of a Japanese man who was still exploring the ocean floor for the body of his wife who died during a devastating tsunami in 2011. After spending two and a half years looking in and around their home city, he took scuba diving lessons and began searching the ocean floor for Yuko’s remains in 2013. Though the darkness of tragedy had enveloped his life, he continued seeking to find the one he deeply loved.

The Grand Project of Salvation

The Swedish writer Fredrick Backman’s 2012 debut novel A Man Called Ove is the tale of a man who sees no reason to live. After the death of his wife (the one person who brought him laughter, intimacy, and joy) and after losing his job, Ove plots his suicide. But then he’s drawn into the larger story around him: There’s a pregnant woman who needs his support, a neighbor in conflict with authorities who are trying to force him into a nursing home, and a young man estranged from his father. Ove discovers reasons to live as he moves beyond himself and toward others.

love as you love yourself

Following a mass shooting in which a dozen victims were murdered, a writer lamented that the horrific event received a lack of media coverage and national attention. “What number of dead here would it have taken to give the nation pause?” Cynthia McCabe lamented in a blog post. While some people moved on quickly from reflecting on the senseless crime and those affected by it, many individuals, organizations, and churches demonstrated compassion for those affected by the tragedy. That includes my friend Heidi who—along with other members of her local church—chose to remember the victims in a tangible way.

voice of faith

The news was numbing. The tears came so quickly that she couldn’t fight them. Her mind raced with questions, and fear threatened to overwhelm her. Life was going along well, when it was abruptly interrupted and forever changed without warning.

suffering for good

Within the span of just 20 minutes last December, four Pakistani women were shot and killed in the city of Karachi. A fifth woman was shot in the city of Peshawar. To make the situation even more horrific, these women were medical staff, implementing a polio vaccine program organized by the UN. A spokesman for the Karachi police explained to the BBC how “these were pre-planned and coordinated attacks in various localities.”

personal and present

If there ever was a person who had the right to ask, “Why me?” it was Joan Brock. As a young wife and mother, Joan went completely blind in a span of just 3 short weeks. If that wasn’t hard enough, 5 years later, her husband died of a rare form of cancer.

As Joan began to speak publicly about…

when tragedy strikes

In January 2010, people from around the world were deployed to provide relief to the citizens and land of Haiti. The tragic effects of a powerful earthquake in that country caused our family to wrestle with unsettling and troubling questions: Why did a mind-staggering tragedy like this happen? If God is strong and powerful and loving, couldn’t He have prevented…

if tomorrow never comes

A heartbreaking story on the cover of the newspaper had everyone talking. A groom was found dead hours after his wedding dinner. One of his friends said: “He was a very cheerful person and had just gotten married. Nobody could believe he was dead just hours after celebrating his wedding.”

Life is truly uncertain. Everyone is just a heartbeat away…

June 1, 2010

How have you personally experienced God allowing tragedy to bring about good?

does anyone care?

Those who have suffered severe loss often lament that their day of tragedy seemed like a normal day for everyone else. On the day they were fired, learned of their cancer, discovered their spouse was unfaithful, or held a child as she died—on that very day other people went about their business as usual. My divorce is final! My beloved…

a long healing

In September of last year, natural disaster hit the Gulf Coast in the US yet again. Hurricane Ike ripped across Galveston Island and into Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the nation. One survivor, Bobby Anderson, recounted the horrific experience of holding on to a building while the storm lashed away at him. To his horror, he watched as a…

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