My numb heart

I'm tired of tragedy. I'm tired of turning on the news and hearing things like the Boston Marathon bombing. There's so much tragedy going on that I'm starting to not feel much anymore.

I'm saddened, but I'm also numb. When I hear bad news, I get a glazed over look in my eyes and think, “Not again.” Then I sigh, throw up a half hearted prayer, and move on with life.

I used to feel a lot. After 9/11, I cried for days. I was glued to the news, not because I wanted to see more of the tragedy, but because I so desperately wanted to help, and it was the only way I felt close to the people hurting. Now when bad news strikes, I avoid the news. My heart just can't take anymore.

It's like my work in a retirement facility. I love my residents and serve them the best I can, but death is imminent when you work with seniors. Many mornings I come to work and see yet another death notice posted. I've just become numb to it, mainly out of a need to survive. You can't go all to pieces all the time. You have to pull yourself together and move on. There's still a job to be done.
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I don't want to be numb to everything, but at the same time I need to keep living. If I allow myself to feel too much, I'll be stuck to the news for days, letting sorrow consume my life.

I will pray, because it's all I know to do.

O God, we are stunned.
We cannot take it in.
It seems unreal and yet too real.
Bear with us in the pain of what has happened
and give us the healing of wounds that now run deep.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from Funeral Services of the Christian Churches in England, Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2002.


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