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Responding to Crisis!


By Rev. Don Allen, Jr & Rev. Ethan Allen

          As our country watches the news of the shootings in Colorado and in Georgia, we are reminded of just how heavy and dark life can get. At a moments notice, anyone can find themselves in a season of crisis, and often there is nothing they can do to prevent it. 

          The dictionary defines crisis as a noun, meaning a “time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.” This time of intensity is a response to a change for which we are unable to cope. No family or community should have to wrestle with this violence, with this death, and yet they must in this fallen and broken world. And just like they must find a way to reconcile with the new normal, the church is called to come alongside those in crisis and love them with compassion, humility, and truth

Responding with Compassion…

Compassion is defined as “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of other” We respond with an open heart to meet the needs of the individuals now. We are often amazed at how much compassion is expressed in the early moments of a crisis and how impassioned these seasons of crisis make us about global issues. However, the compassion of the church must go deeper, it must show up when the noise has faded, and people are left alone to wrestle with their grief. This is where the church can have its most impactful ministry.

Responding in humility…

Our soul is willing, but our flesh is weak, so it says in scripture. In seasons of crisis, we often get involved out of pure intentions, but the pride of our flesh can often take over and the crisis becomes about us and how it makes us feel better, rather than about the people who are truly hurting and broken by the trauma. As the church, we must work diligently to make sure that the motivation of our compassion is not self-serving and has no other agenda.

Responding in truth…

          The most sure-fire way to make sure our compassion is correctly motivated is to have a deep understanding of truth as it is found in scripture. Central to scripture is the messiah Jesus, and throughout his time on earth he was the embodiment of selfless compassion. He often sought to spend time with those who had the greatest needs, people who could not do anything for him, had nothing to offer. Compassion needs to reflect this heart. We don’t have to have all the answers, we just need to sit and love those in deep sorrow, knowing it is not about us.  

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