How do We Limit Chaos? II

No sooner had I published last week’s blog on “How do we limit chaos?” than another, even greater, tragedy occurred across the country in Connecticut. As if to let me know that my presentation on the tragic death of two people at an Oregon shopping mall was totally inadequate, the horrendous deaths of 20 precious first-graders, and 7 teachers confronted our nation. This time the gun didn’t jam. Now what do I write? (By the way, I had no intention of writing a neat, tidy answer; chaos is chaos.)

Now families face funeral after funeral of their very young. For some in Newtown, grief will never end, or it seems that way. For others, they may become numb to the wave upon wave of intense, painful emotion others experience. We can’t imagine what it’s like for the parents and loved ones to have to say good-bye so soon to their dear little persons. Grateful for their protectors, family and friends must also say good-bye to them. Again the grief seems endless.

“Kids do tend to be resilient,” said Matthew Biel, M.D., chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Of course surviving kids need supportive families, along with return to their customary routines.  The children will attempt to limit the chaos and master their emotions through play–including playing dead. Some may need professional treatment to limit the chaos.

On this Christmas let us also recall the innocent children brutally slaughtered by Herod the Great-and their grieving parents. Pray for God to provide comfort to grieving loved ones today in Newtown.

When you’ve experienced trauma, how did you limit the chaos? Did God play any role?


About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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