If you are like me, you experience life now as an ongoing season of upheaval and distress. Between the pandemic’s staggering death count and losses and the racial wounds and ideological rifts we face each day, who doesn’t feel the crushing weight of pain? Yes, the outcome of the George Floyd trial and the success in vaccinating millions of Americans is a move in the right direction–and yet, even successes can trigger more grief. Just ask anyone who lost a loved one. When a new positive event takes place, it can sometimes trigger a shockingly deep wave of grief and loss. There is a lot of evidence that the way of grief and loss is just now really breaking on us like a tidal wave.
Have you ever wanted to an audience with God to tell him of your unspeakable pain? You are not alone. Job did. The Psalmists did. Jesus, the son of God, even did. We have their complaints and laments recorded for us to read and emulate. And since they are recorded in Scripture, we can accept that God invites us to make these cries known to him and to our neighbors.
If you want some help in writing a lament to express your pain to God and to your friends, consider using this new tool just created by the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society. I want to point out a simple and free download where you can do this. Hear how the creators describe the need to lament:
In moments when human dignity is being diminished and violated…When safety and justice feel forgotten or impossible to find…When we feel like we cannot take another step…
Our pain is not a burden to God. God is present.
In times such as these, we here at the Trauma Healing Institute have just launched the new, free, easy-to-use Trauma Healing Basics resource: How to Lament.
This resource is a blueprint for honest prayer in times of great turmoil. God is waiting for us to pour out our hearts. Crying out to God with honesty in times like these is a form of worship; instead of turning away, we open ourselves to God. This little tool explains how to do it.
On April 6, 2021 at 7 pm EDT, the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute is hosting a webinar where we discuss recent research examining the effectiveness of Bible-based trauma healing with incarcerated individuals. Representatives from ABS, Baylor University, and Good News Jails & Prison Ministries will walk you through the project of bringing trauma healing groups to this population and will reveal some amazing and moving results. You may not think research can move you but I challenge you to come to this and NOT be moved.
Register for free here. If you can’t attend but want to view the recording at a later time, sign up.
My wonderful colleagues at the Trauma Healing Institute, a ministry of American Bible Society, have launched www.traumahealinginstitute.org/basics, a page for FREE resources that can be shared with anyone who might benefit from basic materials that can explain what trauma is and how we begin the journey of healing. Kudos to Heather Drew and Justin Taylor as well as our good friends at Luminary Labs. Check out the short video below and then go to the site above for a guide for friends who might be listening to someone tell a bit of their trauma story and a safe listener’s promise.
If you are looking to become certified in using the Healing the Wounds of Trauma curriculum, consider the next Philadelphia equipping sessions, October 4-7, 2019 at the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center.
These sessions are for both initial and advanced participants. If you have not been trained to use Healing the Wounds of Trauma healing group curriculum, this would be a great first experience. The 4 days will give you a first-hand experience of a healing group plus the training you need to lead healing groups for adults.
Already completed the initial training? Then come to the advanced session to deepen your healing group facilitation skills and to learn how to train others to become healing group facilitators. You will need to provide proof (in advance) that you have already led two healing groups.
I’ll be present for parts of the training and would love to meet you there and talk about ways we we make the church a safer place for trauma victims.
Register now. There are both residential and commuter pricing.
Last week I made a presentation (Trauma Research Update) to the attendees of the 2013 Community of Practice hosted by the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute. Video and audio recordings were made and when they come available I will point you all to them here (and there were several VERY GOOD presentations made).
I attach here a PDF of my slide show where I walked ran the audience through a quick review of what we *think* we know about the context, cost of psychosocial trauma in Sub-Saharan Africa (based on peer-reviewed publications). In addition, I review the current thinking about the biology of trauma AND intervention strategies that have some empirical support (though not without significant questions).
If you hope this will be an exhaustive review, look elsewhere. Also, keep in mind that the slide show is written by an educated consumer of research (not a researcher) and designed for a ministry audience. Consider that this review is about what we know from empirical publications. There may be many important things we know that come from other sources!
Also, the information I had about the context and cost of trauma comes, primarily, from an excellent commissioned report written by Wheaton College’s Humanitarian Disaster Institute (yet unpublished). Giving credit where it is due, slide 14 is from an excellent presentation made by Heather Gingrich. Check out her new book on complex trauma.