5 Ways to Process Tragedy with Teenagers

Written by Brad Griffin from Fuller Youth Institute:

“Suffering is not optional.” —Desmond Tutu

These somber words perhaps strike us differently in the aftermath of this month’s events, though spoken from a leader who witnessed decades of violence, trauma, and terrorism in his own context. Tutu goes on to suggest, “Our suffering can become a spirituality of transformation when we understand that we have a role in God’s transfiguration of the world.”

We’ve been reminded at FYI that the impact of the trauma our country and globe have sustained in recent weeks will be deep and enduring. When systemic injustices combine with local-level reactions, the combustion blazes beyond our control. Those of us who follow Jesus find ourselves asking very serious questions. How could this happen? Can God still be good? Who can we trust? How can we ever feel safe? Perhaps you’ve heard questions like this in your ministry or your home in recent weeks as the general level of fear and unease has risen.

While we find ourselves at a loss for adequate words to respond to the complexities at hand, we wanted to offer a few resources for helping young people process trauma and tragedy, whether experienced locally or through the media.


Fuller Youth Institute