Tranquilizing Each Other

On 9/11 I just wanted to go to church. I wanted to hear the good news that this world isn’t all there is. I had to remember with others that I believe that. But I also simply wanted to gather with those who mean the most to me outside of my family, just because being together helped. When something rocks me hard, I want somebody else to know. And ideally feel the same.

I remember whom I sat by that night. I remember the positions of three of us standing and sitting and talking. I don’t know what we said; I really have no idea. But I do remember that it helped.

Today the Boston Marathon was rocked by an explosion. And people are huddling together and expressing horror and fear and every emotion that we encounter in such times. I heard about it first on Facebook, seeing comment after comment saying, “Praying for Boston,” or “Hoping all my Boston friends are safe,” or simply, “Oh God.”

It’s interesting that our instinct isn’t to protect others from knowing the news (how long would that last anyway?)… but instead we have an instinct to share our own reaction.

Anne Lamott says that the best sermon is “Me too.” And I think that’s what we’re after when disaster befalls us or the world… to know that we are not alone.

We’re not. And it’s okay to look for confirmation of that.

 

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