Who is going to take care of the healing now in Tucson? The hope is that there is one person that will walk with every individual that has been wounded deeply. Just ten days after the shooting behavior demonstrates why true healing will be difficult.
Injury and death occur every day in this world. However, when persons of interest are involved or there is a mass shooting the response and reaction is put on display for the world to observe. The grieving process becomes public. The initial response is a consistent pattern of shock, anger, and resignation. Many emotions are packed into a brief period of time from death to burial. When the week is up it’s all about getting back to normal. That is a noble desire, but this is a wound to the soul and nothing will be the same.
The healing process of a wounded soul is lengthy and unpredictable. Grieving is different for each person. The families of the victims in Tucson will find it difficult to move on today and in the weeks ahead and just get over it. While public attention will fade quickly time will move slowly for the wounded.
True healing for the soul is about a personal relationship. Someone has to walk alongside the wounded one, through the pain. It takes a long time, genuine commitment, and true compassion. At best, it takes a fellow survivor. Can the government provide that? Can psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors? What about the church? Healing will come when fellow wounded travelers, of which we all are, determine to travel the road with those most recently injured and understand it will require a lot of time, a willingness to sacrifice personal needs, and compassion that will mean hurting together in the walk. It could be weeks, months, and maybe years. Deep, deep wounds to the soul may never heal.
Until the nation, the churches, and all of us understand the magnitude of damage done in the injury of the soul and the requirements for genuine healing, there will continue to be momentary obligatory attempts to heal that will fall far short of what hearts need. Universally we must see the need, surrender the self, and walk with the wounded…however long it takes. It can only be done, soul with soul.