Carrying Trauma, Part One
On last week’s podcast, Dan looked at Galatians 6 and discussed how we can help restore those who are suffering from the effects of their own sin. This week, Dan continues the series on trauma care in Galatians 6 by addressing how we can help carry those who are harmed by the sins of others.
“Do we know what it is to suffer, to grieve with another, to hold their sorrow with them?”
Dan offers three broad categories for understanding the burdens that we carry: death, deceit, and disdain. These are the burdens we carry after suffering loss, being betrayed by another, or experiencing shame at the hands of another.
“How do we carry these burdens? There’s a sense in which each one is unique, and yet they overlap.”
Helping someone else carry their burdens goes beyond sympathy and condolences. It requires joining that person in grief and in the sense of loss and injustice. This might mean inviting someone to talk about a lost loved one, or joining the anger of a friend who has been betrayed. With someone who has been mocked and disdained, says Dan, carrying the burden requires naming the reality and the impact of shame.
“When we’re with someone who knows great shame, we are likely going to be triggered in our own experience of shame. […] We have to be able to know that shame evokes shame.”
We have to be able to know that shame evokes shame.”
Our calling is not to erase or take away each other’s burdens, but to help carry those burdens in a way that invites others to once again open their hearts to the goodness of God.
“Your desire as the burden-bearer can’t be to take away the shame. Your desire ought to be that the shame open the heart to more deeply understanding how Jesus is our shame-bearer.”
On next week’s podcast, Dan will continue discussing how we can carry the burdens of other people, even when we don’t think we have anything to offer.
“When we don’t give in to contempt, we are doing something revolutionary that begins to change the very nature of the trauma itself. […] By the way that we hold one another’s suffering, we can change the trajectory of trauma.”
By the way that we hold one another’s suffering, we can change the trajectory of trauma.”