Commentary

August 3, 2012

Chaplain's Corner

Searching for answers during bad times

by Chaplain Aaron Klaves
452 AMW Chapel staff

In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado, shooting, people across the nation began trying to make sense of this truly senseless act. Of course, some people immediately needed answers about friends and loved ones living nearby:

Were they at the movie theater that night? If so, are they ok?

Police agencies, too, were quickly looking for answers:

Who was this kid? What motivated him to commit such a horrible crime?

By Sunday morning, talk show hosts were asking expert guests, politicians and panelists even larger questions:

Are our gun laws too loose? How could our legal system have allowed this in the first place?

There is no doubt that questions will continue to asked and explanations demanded.

When innocent lives are impacted, whether by natural disasters, or even worse, random acts of horrendous violence, people naturally ask the main questions:

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why did God allow this to happen?

Unfortunately, explanations to these kinds of questions elude us. In the Bible, we read the very sad story of Job, described as the most righteous person living during his time, but who experiences terrible tragedies, and for no fathomable reason. The story becomes more uncomfortable when Job’s consoling companions, who rightly first sit silent for a time, begin offering up explanations for his plight. Job was grossly disrespected by his clueless friends who constantly preached to him about his misfortune.

When assuming the role of comforter, I find that less talking and more listening is often the best approach when counseling. While it can be incredibly tempting to offer a ‘word of wisdom’ to someone who has experienced senseless tragedy (perhaps losing a child, or dealing with loved-one’s suicide, or suffering the effects of an accident or natural disaster), silence is almost always golden. Furthermore, when it is finally time for me to speak, I stick with what I know. I talk about the importance of friends and family as a means of strength and reassurance.

In my current position, I regularly come in contact with those who have suffered similar losses, so I maintain an updated source-list comprised of organizations that specialize in these situations. Of course I reinforce this with talk about the incredible love God has for us — how he absolutely hates evil and does not wish it on anyone.

For me, dangerous territory starts when I venture off into areas clear beyond my realm, that only God understands, by attempting to give meaning to the meaningless with answers that cannot be found. Keep your faith. God bless!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Halle-Berry

Halle Berry Connects With the U.S. Military

Halle Berry stars in the Science-Fiction show “Extant,” which just began its second season. Finding out someone values and appreciates what you do can keep you floating at cloud level for weeks, especially when the someone ...
 
 
Mackenzie-Welz

How being a military dependent helped me prepare for my future

“You’re going to be the man of the house now,” are the words one may hear a military father tell his son before deployment. However, it’s different when the mom is the one leaving her daughter because of a deployment. S...
 
 
(Courtesy photo/Linda Welz)

Teamwork, commitment, goals, success

(Courtesy photo/Linda Welz) Mackenzie Welz with the ball during a water polo game. She was co-captain for the Temescal Canyon High School Lady Titans Varsity team her senior year. The start of my freshman year, at a new school ...
 

 
OPM-data-photo

OPM data hack may cause extra alarm for troops

The largest data hack in government history could leave some troops at risk of having their personal information exploited or exposed. Current and former federal employees began receiving troubling emails from the executive Off...
 
 
Pride

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month

Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army Reserve Diversity is one of our nation’s greatest strengths. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month, we celebrate our rich diversity and rene...
 
 
America’slibrary.gov

Celebrate “Old Glory’s” 239th year on Flag Day

America’slibrary.gov Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, shows the first U.S. Flag she made to George Washington. He commissioned her to create a flag for the new nation in anticipation of a declaration of its independence...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>