Crises are inevitable in our lives. In fact one could describe life as a series of crises affecting each of us differently. We all experience difficulties of varying kinds and degrees throughout our life time.
Webster defines crises as a "turning point." A crisis comes about because of change within our lives. This crisis often is perceived in forms of unwanted news causing sadness and heartache and throws one into a state of abnormal equilibrium.
One could picture life as one large swing in a play ground. The swing moves back and forth. It is difficult to predict when anyone including ourselves might be in a crisis. We swing between crises all the time - some crises are small ones while others are intense and cause much heart ache.
Crises can hit in many forms: illness, accidents, death, loss of job, loss of independence just to name a few; and along with these crises come the emotions - crying, anger, sorrow, blame, guilt, remorse along with many other emotions.
Physical symptoms such as stomach ache, chest pain, stiffness, and headache may occur. You may also experience emotional symptoms such as crying, depression or low energy.
Behavioural disorders may also be visible such as difficulty sleeping, eating, and being unable think or work.
Crisis can affect many aspects of a person's life at one time. We, as caring friends need to make contact with those in crisis and show empathy and concern through the ministry of presence. The immediate goal is to get a person through the initial shock stage, helping them find their own appropriate resources.
There are women in our church and community who knit prayer shawls and these shawls are given out to people in crisis - mostly those related to illness or death. This is a wonderful way to help share someone's burden; to show someone you care about them, and you are willing to walk along side of one in crisis. These shawls are made prayerfully and given away to those who are identified to us in some need.
If you are interested in doing this ministry, the information can be found on the internet just by a Google search 'Prayer shawl ministry' and the site will direct you how to do this ministry.
To walk with someone who is in crises is one of the most important tasks we have to do - To help carry the burden is a mandate we have from God.
We do not have answers for someone in crises; we just walk with them, offering a listen ear and compassionate heart.
You may recall an old custom of walking someone home from school - we carried their books, we offered our friendship and companionship, we walked along side someone offering them our presence.
People often think they have to have the right words when walking with someone in crisis - words are not the most important thing. Most people in crisis will not remember what you said. They will only remember that you were there alongside them in their time of need.
"We must embrace each crisis and burn it as fuel for our journey."
Margaret Anne Yost nursed for 35 years, working mostly on medical floors. She has journeyed with many clients who were dying, and she tried to comfort their families during this difficult time. She has completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Returning back to school she completed classes from the Red River College in the areas of Gerontology, Bereavement, Death and Dying. She was enrolled eight years in lay ministry training. At present, she enjoys her role at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Yorkton in the area of parish work. For the past ten years she has also been employed at Bailey's Funeral Home working in the area of Continuing Care.
Comments and articles may be forwarded by mail to: Margaret Anne Yost, P.0. Box 554 Melville, Sask. S0A 2P0
Or phone 1-306-621-9877 (9 am-5 pm) or at home 1-306-728-4744 (evenings).
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