Natural & Unnatural Disasters

By: Christina Ferrari  

Monday: Bombs in Boston

Wednesday: Explosion in Texas

Thursday: Torrential Rains Flood the Midwest

Tragedy after tragedy rocked the country last week.  My heart ached as I learned about the bombings at the Boston marathon. In seconds, a celebratory race on a historic Patriot’s Day turned into a deadly and frightening catastrophe. Then, less than 48 hours later an enormous explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas blew my mind when I watched flames engulf buildings and take lives. On Thursday, I woke up to learn that my small suburban hometown had become a city underwater. The high school, the downtown, homes destroyed. Lisle, Illinois and many other areas of the Chicago region turned into lakes and rivers overnight.  

When the unspeakable happens and just keeps happening our minds sort of go numb, try as we might reason just doesn’t cut it and we are left in a state of awe and confusion. Some things simply don’t make sense. How is it that shrapnel and fire consumed some lives and limbs but not others? Why do homes on one block get destroyed but others remain untouched? When a disaster occurs, there is no method to this madness. A few seconds, a few feet can be the difference between life and death, between a home and homelessness.

My heart breaks for all those affected by the events of the past few days. Please know my prayers are with you and your families. For those of us who watch from afar, we must remember that while tragedy can occur in a split second, recovery and rebuilding takes much longer and can feel like a lifetime.  So we must ask ourselves…or better yet, our hurting neighbors how we can support them on the journey toward healing and recovery.  

Hurricane Katrina. September 11th 2001. When I think of these events, I think about the devastation they caused but I also think of the aftermath and the many souls that helped the healing: the volunteers, the emergency responders, the donations, the hugs and hands to hold. Natural and unnatural disasters are beyond our control. However, the time following these tragedies is within our power. Yes, a tragedy will forever alter someone’s life. That said, what happens in the hours, days, weeks, months, and years that follow will have a lasting impact as well.

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