Resources for Coping with Suffering and Tragedy

When tragic events take place in our lives, we ask "Why?". Here are some resources to help you cope with the sadness and confusion created when you experience loss or injustice.

by Tim Keller

St Paul's Episcopal Church September 10, 2006

Below is the transcript for a sermon preached by Tim Keller at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. It addresses suffering and how to cope with it and was delivered to various dignitaries and survivors of responders from the NYPD and NYFD. Transcript provided by Michael Keller

As a minister, of course, I've spent countless hours with people who are struggling and wrestling with the biggest question - the WHY question in the face of relentless tragedies and injustices. And like all ministers or any spiritual guides of any sort, I scramble to try to say something to respond and I always come away feeling inadequate and that's not going to be any different today. But we can't shrink from the task of responding to that question. Because the very best way to honor the memories of the ones we've lost and love is to live confident, productive lives. And the only way to do that is to actually be able to face that question. We have to have the strength to face a world filled with constant devastation and loss. So where do we get that strength? How do we deal with that question? I would like to propose that, though we won't get all of what we need, we may get some of what we need 3 ways: by recognizing the problem for what it is, and then by grasping both an empowering hint from the past and an empowering hope from the future. read more

Additional sermons related to tragedy
Listen to sermons related to tragedy.

Helping Your Children Cope
How to help you children amidst tragedy.

Recommended Psalms
Several Psalms appropriate for your reading and reflection.

If you would like to pray with someone, Redeemer deacons and deaconesses are available after worship services. If you would like to talk with a pastor and/or have additional concerns and practical needs, please contact the helpline at 917-719-0259.