The NY Times has an article this morning related to the horrific killings in Pennsylvania. To be honest, of course the NY Times actually has several articles related to this story. But this one caught my eye: Strong Faith and Community May Help Amish Cope With Loss. (Free registration is required to read articles.)
Yesterday morning, I attended a Clergy Education day sponsored by the pastoral care department at one of the major hospitals in the area. For the first session, a hospice social worker talked about the role of "companions in grief" - walking with those who are facing loss, helping them find sacred space to do the work of grief when they are ready, and before that point, just helping them get through the days.
The NY Times article concludes with this quote,"“For the families who lost children, there will be a tremendous community outpouring of love and support,” Ms. Schmidt said. “They will not suffer alone in their grief at all. People will bring in meals for weeks. As devastating as this is, there’s so much strength they can draw from their community.”
This morning, I'm glad that this will be true for these families, and still, I'm sad that it isn't true for so many more. I hope we in the church take these small reminders that our God promises to comfort all who mourn - and we are vessels of that grace. I look forward to the day when a supportive Christian community is newsworthy only in the sense of proclaiming the Good News.