Candles and a note form a memorial for victims of the Germanwings crash - March 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images –

Only the 150 on board the Germanwings flight from Barcelona experienced the physical terror of the crash, but countless others now face their own emotional free fall.

Sixteen teenagers and their teachers were among those on the flight. They were returning from a cultural exchange where they experienced new perspectives, communicated in a foreign language, and built bridges of understanding.

But this tragic crash, this final horrible perspective – who translates this for those they left behind?

“We can’t take away your pain,” said the German state education official. “We can only share it, and through the common sharing offer a little comfort.”

The shock moves outward, like ripples in the water.

Ripples that cross continents and mountains and oceans and cultures.

The ripples wash over us through news reports and pictures.

We notice the ripples, pausing to frown and sigh, but they don’t change our day.

We continue on.

We offer a prayer and perhaps shed a tear.

But we continue on.

Have we really shared their pain?

Does our caring cause a large enough return ripple in the cosmic fabric for them to notice?

Do they feel comforted?


For a time.

But when the press conferences end and the cameras move on to the next crash, when the makeshift altars of candles and notes and stuffed animals are removed, who will remember their pain? Who will remember besides them?

Who will share their pain when our best intentions and sincere concern have turned to a new shock and crisis? Newer ripples?


God will remember their pain, share their pain, comfort them.

The pain is personal.

So is God.

“His steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:29b)


Five Minute Friday: Real

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Real


It’s real.

A sense of and faith in solid ground, bedrock, and support.

It’s real.

I can’t offer proof.

Not in the scientific sense of proof.

Not in molecules and chemistry and equations.

It’s real.

It’s certain – in a world where nothing else is certain – not the color of a silly dress (white and gold or black and blue?), not the safety of a vehicle, not the promise of loyalty, not even a next breath.

It’s real.

Faith that there is a God.

Faith that God is good.

Faith that God will be with me even (especially) in the uncertainties of life.

Faith that God does not cause hurt or harm or pain or evil actions, but will be with me when (not if) I encounter those things in my life.

It’s real.

And that makes all the difference.

For real.


Rocks on a lake shore with the morning sun reflecting on the water.