"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
What do you do when the call comes from a distraught parishioner who needs help in dealing with a murder, rape, traffic accident, miscarriage, or the effects of a natural disaster or war? How can students of pastoral care and counseling learn in a seminary setting how to think about and counsel in those situations? An extraordinary number of survivors of such catastrophic events turn to clergy for help to deal with their stress. The effects of such massive stress are typically known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Knowing how to recognize PTSD and how to handle such crisis situations is critical for caregivers.
Weaver, Preston, and Flannelly use case studies to show how to handle such tough situations. Treatment options, referral possibilities and procedures are explained so that the caregiver knows how to help those in their care cope with catastrophic emotional distress. The authors suggest religious resources within the faith (mainly Christian and Jewish) community that can be of help in crisis situations. The authors also list national, cross-cultural, and self-help resources (including street and internet addresses as well as phone information) which many caregivers and family members may prefer to access. This book is intended primarily as a teaching/caring resource and pastoral aid to be studied over time; however, the authors include a quick reference section for emergency aid.