Our country seems to be in the midst of multiple events ranging from political, local shootings, explosions, arson, and plane crashes. With the media networks flooded with stories on these events, we are almost forced to consider if we will ever see peace and tranquility in our world. Most important for parents and grandparents like me, we are concerned for our families and seeking help in dealing with the anxiety and suffering this creates. In Seasons for Wholeness: Monthly Themes and Programming for Parish Health Ministry. Vol. 5, Ruth Dankanich Daumer, The International Parish Nurse Resource Center; Ruth shares thoughts that might help you visit this topic from a faith perspective in dealing with any form of terrorism – an event that creates trauma, helplessness or fear for our life. Last week I talked about PTSD and scenarios we are experiencing today are creating the symptoms of this – flashbacks, pre-occupation with the traumatic event, difficulty concentrating, lack of interest in usual activities, changes in sleep and eating patterns.
God’s word is the ultimate and lasting help for our anxiety and suffering, be it terrorism, armed conflict, family difficulties, fear and/or anxiety. In the Psalms, we are encouraged to fear no evil or any evil persons (23:4, 37:1, 91:5). Throughout the Bible, God comforts us with his certain promises of His protection and His love for us (Isaiah 54:10; Psalm 46; Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 15; 5-6; 1 Peter 2:9-10.)
How can we respond to Terrorism?
✤ Seek help if you or your loved one shows signs associated with PTSD (often new painful episodes bring to life painful experiences from our past);
✤ For children and vulnerable adults, emphasize their safety and security, and minimize exposure to news reports;
✤ Comfort children by reinforcing that their parents are taking care of them and will continue to help them work through these issues as well as other concerns that they might have; and try to minimize their exposure to violent images (popular X-Box and video games are huge influences);
✤ Try to continue usual routines and avoid unnecessary time apart from family members. In our faith family, we need to be especially aware of our families with one member away on deployment, and reach out to help and support them during this time of separation to help them create a near normal environment for their family;
✤ Find ways to show all the important persons in your life that you love them;
✤ Using Romans 12:1-7 as your guide, reach out to agencies in our community and military support networks to offer assistance to those affected by disasters in our environment area;
✤ Point people to the eternal source of healing – our great God!
I pray for your peace and happiness as your continue your earthly journey, enjoying God’s grace every step of the way!
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church & School