At the time of the Victorian Bushfires I shared a Lament at our Cathedral Ecumenical Service for those affected by the bushfires. In part the lament was very personal as we lost two dear friends. The TV cameras caught my tears. It was embarrassing to lose control of my emotions in such a public way. Interestingly, a number of people commented on my evident compassion and said that they were helped by this shared sorrow. The Lament may be read here.
Some days later the plane in which I was returning to Hobart hit severe turbulence. Passengers’ reactions were many and varied!
After the bushfires, what do you say? As the plane plunges, what song do you sing? Where is consolation found?
In an increasingly diverse and less Christian Australia I have been observing the consolation being offered at community memorial services. What is the nature of these services? Do their words and rituals satisfy the deep longings of grieving communities?
Tragedy and turbulence are here until the Lord returns. Consolation is called for. Where is consolation found?