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SPOT from Tragedy

July 31, 2013

Mickey McCandless - WEB 2013

On July 6, 2013, my 15 year old granddaughter was on a plane at the San Francisco International Airport when the Asiana Airlines Boeing 787 crashed upon landing. Her flight to China was delayed two days as the airport and airlines dealt with the aftermath of the tragedy.

This event and many more since that time also made me reflect on how I cope with tragedy – personal and global.

The acronym SPOT is my coping mechanism:

  • Sadness. I reflect upon my personal sadness and loss out of the event. I also try to reflect upon the sadness and loss felt by my neighbors near and far.
  • Pray. I pray to God for comfort, healing, presence, awareness, justice, mercy and guidance for me and for all touched by the tragedy.
  • Offer Hope. I remember that God offers me and all people the hope of a better tomorrow in the midst of the darkest of times. God will bring healing, love and abundance into life out of the tragedy that has occurred. God is a God who gives abundant life to all.
  • Tell. God tells God’s story of justice, mercy and a humble walk with God to everyone and invites each of us to engage in that journey that the world might be filled with joy, love and abundant life for each person.

In using the acronym SPOT I am able to be engaged with being comforted and healed in the midst of tragedy and living toward a world that seeks to be engaged with God that tragedy will be no more. I invite you to accompany me on that same journey.

Rev. Mickey McCandless


Tracey Beadle 08-07-2013
Always an inspiration, Mickey! I appreciate the acronym and will remember it. Reminds me why I miss your preaching.
Sally Friedli 08-06-2013
I like your Offer Hope best. I know He has a plan for the hope for a better tomorrow for my family. Since Ben's death, He has pulled us through a very dark time, offering healing and hope very gradually--and still pulling us through it. I still do not understand why we no longer have Ben, but God's plan will not be revealed until I join him in our heavenly home. So, with trust and faith in God, we live one day at a time, stumbling through some days and getting through others a little easier. Abundant life without Ben seems impossible still--have to wait on that one to believe it. :( Thanks, Mickey, for your words..and for your comfort whenever I see you!
Dianne Dorsett 08-06-2013
Thank you, Mickey, very affirming. There is no way to go through a loss without the knowledge of God's healing power. For me in the loss of my daughter, we have the confidence that she entered God's eternal kingdom as a whole and healed person. And I personally rely on God's healing power for me - through prayer and the love and support of Christian family and friends. Grief can often be overwhelming, but it, thankfully, is fleeting compared to God's everlasting love.
Mickey McCandless 08-06-2013
We are made to be part of a community of people. Letting other people care for you in the midst of hurt and tragedy as you care for people is critical to life lived abundantly. I have been part of a clergy 'soul' group for 22 of my 25 years in ordained ministry. The people who were part of each group have made it possible for me to heal and live abundantly.
Liz Thomas 08-06-2013
Thank you Mickey. We have a Grief Support Group at our church (which began about 2 years ago). I will share this with them!!
Brit Peek 08-06-2013
As I had several recent deaths, I truly appreciate your advise!

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