Carrying Trauma, Part Two

Dan is in the middle of a series looking at what we can learn about trauma care from the opening verses of Galatians 6. Two weeks ago, Dan discussed how we can help restore those who are suffering from the effects of their own sin, and last week he talked about the burdens that come from outside harm and how we can help each other carry those burdens. On this week’s podcast, Dan discusses how we are all invited to carry the burdens of others, even if we don’t feel like we have anything to offer.

Every face you encounter is an invitation to bear a burden.”

Dan also discusses the story of the good Samaritan, who helped carry the burden of the injured, bloodied man in his path—a man who had been passed by others who considered themselves too busy or too important to stop.

“If you think you are too important to help someone, you’re only fooling yourself. You are not that important. […] Don’t think that what you’re doing is so important that it precludes the possibility of weeping with those who weep, of staying with those who are suffering.”

Often, we do feel great care for people who are suffering, but we are unsure of how much help we can really be. “I don’t know what to do . . . I don’t have anything to offer . . . I’m not an expert.” Dan discusses the beauty of openness, being willing to offer even small kindnesses to people who are hurting.

“Your hands, your face, your heart may be all the nourishment that person needs for the next five minutes.”

Dan drives this home with a story about a recent interaction on a ferry. Nothing dramatic occurred, just the simple beauty of seeing pain in another and realizing that you have something to offer—no matter how small it is.

“This is what my heart wants to be. I don’t want to be angry, irritated. I don’t want to be entitled. […] In that very small gift to him, my heart came back. […] With whatever time I have, and whatever resources I can offer, to be able to stand on their behalf—nothing can bring more of the sweetness of life than that privilege.”