News and Events

Shootings in a Setting of Faith

Dennis Potter
June 19, 2015

How tremendously unsettling it must be for members of a faith community to have some of their members shot and killed during faith event! Where are we supposed to be safe today? In our homes, at work, in our faith community, or wherever.

 

Events like the one in Charleston, reminds us that violent death can come at us from any direction, at any time, and at any place. What are we to do about this phenomena? Are we to huddle down and create bunkers to protect ourselves? Do we get fearful about going out into public places?

 

As crisis interventionists, what message do we carry to the families of the direct victims, or all of the indirect victims of such a heinous crime?

 

Indeed, it is the message we give to ourselves and others that allows us to move forward and continue to live life, or to be helpless victims of unrelenting fear. So what message can we carry forth?

 

We can start with a message of Resilience. The core human reaction to bounce back, to be strong, to honor our fallen and their families, and to not let those fears keep us from being who we are. In these challenges, what actions can we take to make our little corner of the world a better place? How can we honor the fallen, respect their love and their faith, and their contributions to our lives?

 

We can take action to move forward, to use our anger at the unjustness of the event, to motivate us to increase the love of one another, to motivate us to take care of each other, to motivate us to make this world a little better place for everyone.

 

We can move from an identity of victim of these events, to survivors of such events. As survivors we have power and ability to continue in our lives as best we can, without being a powerless, helpless victim. Some of us might become thrivers, people who begin to relentlessly work to improve our communities to help reduce the likelihood that another event will happen.

 

What can you do to help?

Dennis Potter