The mail came Tuesday. I’m not sure why it surprised me, but it did.

I’m always shocked when the mail arrives after a tragedy. I want it to stop. Maybe as an act of reverence. Maybe because I want more time to mourn. The mail reminds me life moves fast, too fast.

I know as months pass other horrific stories will become newsworthy, and even if we swear we will not forget, we do.

I lived in Littleton, Colorado when the Columbine tragedy occurred. I remember sitting  less than a quarter of a mile away listening to updates on a radio and screaming sirens. I witnessed the world swoop in to hold Littleton. Eventually, I saw the cameras shut off and turn away.

When we think of serving others after a tragedy, we tend to think of physical ways to help, and that’s good. Often money is a need and Americans reach deep and give, but today, I want to challenge you to pick a name of one of the many impacted by the explosions at the Boston Marathon, and I ask you to pray.

Call him or her by name.

Serve families by offering prayers.

Serve strangers by calling out to God.

When all words sound cliché, serve by praying.

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how to serve others after tragedy

by Amy L. Sullivan time to read: 1 min