“The storm is gone, but the “after the storm” is always there.” Deacon Julius Lee

When the storms of life have torn through life, leaving wounds to tend to and losses to grieve, the aftermath can feel like a daunting prospect. Sorting through the rubble we might feel as though we have a layer of skin missing, sensitive to the slightest touch, unable to work out what comes next.

It’s something that we can perhaps all identify with in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. We may or may not have been personally touched by the tragedy, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t affected by it.

And as I write this, I’m irresistibly reminded of another ‘day after’.

Holy Saturday; the worst has happened, we have to come to terms with it and God is silent.

As the victims and their families live through their Holy Saturday and as we sit sometimes helplessly and watch, I wonder what the comfort our community can offer is.

I think it’s found in the words of Shelly Rambo, who writes on trauma and the gospel:

“We receive, in the drama of hell, assurance that there is no place that God has not been.”

In the midst of what feels like hell; we are not alone because through Jesus’ experience the trauma is brought into the Godhead – it’s goodness and holiness is not changed by it – but it’s swept up into God’s divine love and power.

And in these days, when we’re looking around at the aftermath, Holy Saturday teaches us not to rush to the joy of the Sunday but to sit with God in the agony of the Saturday and find, to our surprise that He is present in it because Jesus has lived through the greatest darkness for our sake.

Our prayers and laments are for Manchester and London, as well as all the cities across the world living in the wake of terror as they navigate what it means for them to live after the storm.