cri·sis | \ ˈkrī-səs \
plural crises\ ˈkrī-ˌsēz \
Definition of crisis
1a: the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever
b: a paroxysmal attack of pain, distress, or disordered function
c: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person's life a midlife crisis
2: the decisive moment (as in a literary plot)The crisis of the play occurs in Act 3.
3a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome a financial crisis the nation's energy crisis
Years ago in my grad school studies at The Ohio State University I took a course in Crisis Counseling that helped me understand how, whether through a situational crisis or a chronological crisis, one’s counseling intervention requires gathering all affected by the crisis and process first the emotional trauma as soon as possible. This goes a long way toward alleviating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other consequential mental health problems.
Some years later in my grad school studies at the United Theological Seminary I took a course in Homiletics that helped me understand how, when a crisis occurs in the land, one’s sermon in weekend worship requires addressing the crisis as a problem for which there is a “but Jesus” solution. This goes a long way toward healing the emotional and spiritual wounds of a congregation.
Today I am scratching my head.
Because I live in a land where white racism has accelerated to the level of white nationalism with a pattern of gun violence targeting people of color and others within their social environment. Guns that are military weapons of war are being used for the purpose of terrorism. And while innocent people are dying by these weapons, our political leaders are revealing that they didn’t take the class. No coursework on Crisis counseling or Crisis messaging. Or even Crisis governance.
And why does that matter?
Because political leaders are required to gather our nation together to process our emotions and to offer reassurance that this crisis is not just a situation that must be coped with thought about and prayed for, but is a problem that must be and will be solved. Without that kind of intervention, we as a nation are going to suffer a kind of collective PTSD and more severe mental health problems as a social aggregate.
As a retired counselor and pastor who has no real platform other than my website from which to now blog, I can only think of two things to say using this space. First, let’s talk. Let’s comment. By whatever medium you are reading this, what are you feeling right now after this weekend of 29 persons killed by military weapons of war within two US cities? What are your emotions telling you?
Secondly, let’s talk some more. Only this time let’s talk back to our emotions with words of problem-solving reassurance; that is, with concrete ideas by way of brainstorming.
First, your emotions. And, secondly, your ideas.