I read this article in The Atlantic, which was really very interesting. In essence, it noted the frequency of the words “pray for Boston” on social media just following the crisis. I’m sure the same thing could be said of almost all crises.
Everyone is worried when something happens (even when it doesn’t affect them directly), but almost no one worries anymore after time passes. I see this happen all of the time in churches, when someone has a personal crisis. We all band together to pray for them, to support them, and bring them casseroles for a few days. Then, after a week or two, we go back to our normal life… after all, it takes a lot of our time, worrying about other people.
In other words, we have a collective problem with a) memory and 2) selfishness. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, if we spent all of our time worrying about others’ crises, who would pay our bills? Not the bill fairy, trust me.
But sometimes, I do think it’s necessary for us to short-circuit this tendency toward crisis amnesia. Why? Because after time passes, and no one is paying attention anymore, those of us who have been in crisis are the most vulnerable. It’s random, unguarded moments like this one, or the next that can make the difference between our resolve and our despair.
A random cheesecake two months after surgery could be the thing that makes all the difference in someone’s recovery. Makes them not give up. A cup of coffee tomorrow might be the difference between someone sinking into despair and remembering that they are valued and loved.
Your prayer for Boston might be the difference between their protection and their destruction. I can’t say that for sure, of course. But what if that were true?
Like I said, we can’t all be completely selfless all of the time. We also have to take care of ourselves. But maybe Boston has a special place in your heart. Maybe you should still be praying for the city. Maybe you have a close friend who’s been through something hard. Maybe they need a cup of coffee.
Just think about it. Not trying to guilt trip anyone. Just to get us to think.