Text Size: Zoom In

Survivor’s Guilt and Deep Gratitude


Photo: CNN

The story of a 71 year old woman who survived the tragic sinking of a South Korean ferry boat is full of mixed emotion.

As she lies on a hospitable be with a broken back, and her life, she expresses survivor’s guilt, and deep gratitude for the young man who hung on to her after she had given up hope. On the third try, he pulled her above the rising water that was rushing into the room where, moments earlier, she sat quietly watching a soap opera on TV.

According to the CNN online report, Her family wants to find the man — “even if we have to put up placards around neighborhood,” she says.

“I’m grateful. I want to thank him. I want to buy him a meal at least or hold his hand or give him a hug.

“What else can I do?”

Survivor’s guilt, and deep gratitude for a rescue that is describable—while seeming neither deserved nor explainable— goes beyond the deeply personal stories of a South Korean disaster that has apparently taken hundreds of young lives.

On the weekend on which we give special remembrance to a far greater rescue, I’m thinking this story sounds strangely familiar.

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+15 rating, 15 votes)

9 Responses to “Survivor’s Guilt and Deep Gratitude”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart when I was a young Christian I would think it an honor to die for Christ, it wasn’t until I learned that living for Him was much more difficult and so much more of an honor and privilege.


  2. saled says:

    Jesus says in John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friend.” We hear many stories of people who have died while in the process of saving someone else. We hear fewer stories of those who lay down their life everyday for the benefit of others. Like Steve said, living for Him can be much more difficult than dieing for Him.

  3. poohpity says:

    After sharing the Gospel with people there are those who walk away and do not accept what has been shared. Those that will be left behind. Yes I feel guilt deep down inside that they will not walk this earth with the Lord’s help nor will they ever see eternity. It makes me very sad and remorse is great with the thought of what else could I have said or done to make it real but I know at least they have heard.

    I do know that with Him in my life has brought so much joy, healing and yes sometimes heartache but I would not trade it for anything. I have never been in a situation to know what dieing for Him would be like, I just know that even in that he is there.

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    The emotional storm of the 71-year-old woman is strange and familiar! Waking up in one piece (though bearing the ravages of the crisis), leads the rescued to ask:

    1) Why me?
    2) Why did you do it?

    It will be utterly sad if the young savior turns out to be lost in the sinking of the ferry. It seems to me the woman will then ask her questions of heaven – providence – God. Those who awaken to the deliverance given by the Son of God can get answers to the two questions. (John 3:16)

    It seems to me both those who are saved from drowning in a sinking ship and those who perceive their salvation in Jesus Christ will turn to a third question:

    3) What does Providence have for me to do with this life I’ve been handed? Why am I here?
    The kingdom of God increases as more people turn to sharing God’s love and resurrection power in Christ.

    Joy at Easter!

  5. quietgrace says:

    Good morning all. This morning I am thinking already of an instance where I am having to let-go of some people I have been deeply involved with who desperately need the Lord, but have pushed both Him and me away. Yet, I know my prayers and the witness of Jesus love in their lives gives me hope that the God who will not let us go hears our cries for mercy and grace.

    Come, just come to the cross and you will find blessing beyond more than you could ever imagine. Bring all of your shame, guilt, pain and even your anger; yes, your anger and disappointments God can turn into joy and peace. Come to the God who will not let you go in your battles of life. Come to Jesus, the one who won the greatest battle of all, the victory over sin and death.

    Let all who are thirsty, come.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Grace (quietgrace) you seem to be hurting this morning when you wrote, for that I am sorry for your pain. Letting go has two views, one of saying goodbye another of leaving it in God’s hands.

    Though I know you already know this I feel you just need it confirmed.

    There is a marvelous future coming, we just can’t quite see it for the mist.

    Put your trust in God and when you have nothing left to say, say thank you and give Him praise.


  7. poohpity says:

    I have total survivors guilt when it comes to Jesus who was without sin yet took my sin on His innocent back and it is with very deep heartfelt gratitude that I bow at the foot of the Cross. That should have been me, I deserved what He got. Hopefully each day out of total thankfulness I will give that same undeserved mercy to others that will prove I understand and believe in what He did.

  8. street says:

    Dear Poopity, Sometimes a person has to hear the Gospel several times in order to respond to it positively. Pray for them to get soften hearts and eyes and ears that can respond to spiritual truth.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    I seen this morning where the death toll is now at 52 from the ferry boat disaster. I seen yesterday where they had arrested the boats captain.

    I can only imagine how the captain must feel. Now they are looking for someone to punish for the deaths of so many.

    Whether criminally negligent or just bad judgment the captain of the boat is responsible. What punishment will bring back one single life that has already been lost?

    If you consider life on earth as one long voyage, who is the captain?

    Who took the punishment for all the lost souls?

    Who has made a way for all the lost to be returned not only to their loved ones, but to a glorious new life?

    Happy Easter.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.