What I have noticed is that when there are blue skies, golden autumnal colours and bright sunshine, I love a drive. Give me rain, deich skies and blanket shades of grey, my spirit fades a little. While the rhythm of the windscreen wipers may be comforting, the puddles and surface spray are not.
Yet on a grey day, when I spend more time inside, I have to face some of the stuff I might otherwise ignore. On a sunny day, I can distract myself with the gorgeousness of nature in both colour and form. On a grey day, I hear the rain battering the window, and am challenged to find the good.
This week I have been reading Karen McClintock’s ‘ When trauma wounds pathways to healing and hope.’ It is a great introduction to different forms of trauma, and different strategies to find healing. It is written from a theological and counselling perspective, and advocates a trauma informed approach to individuals, to life, and to church. It works by giving a number of case studies, and relates what helps people find their peace. Sanctuaries where people can tell their story in safety, is part of that healing process.
It was the battering of the rain, that led me to read, to have space and time to consider this topic. It is a difficult area to explore, and I am still only learning, but it seems so important to integrate pastoral and trauma informed insights, to enable people to find lasting healing. I need to explore it further, for my heart’s desire is to see people have opportunites to heal after trauma and emotional woundedness. Bessel van der Kolk speaks of all these techniques being summarised in the word ‘love’ but it is how to love people well and wisely, so that they can heal that is the challenge.
On grey days, may we take time to do some reflection, and ask God to bring deeper healing to our lives. May His holy spirit guide us, so we can experience healing, and in turn can bring grace to others.
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us, so that we will be able to encourage and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’ 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5
Creator God, on a grey day, we can be restless and unsettled, our mood a little flat. Yet even these days can be used by You, so we look deeper into our souls, and notice the murkier and darker areas. Lord Jesus, at times in your life, you too were confronted with the truth of the human condition, and the cruelty and darkness of the world. Forgive us for all the hurt and trauma we cause others, and bring healing pathways for the broken and the wounded. By your holy spirit, give us courage to keep travelling, even when the journey seems grey and relentless. May we trust that the sun can shine again, and bring love, joy and peace, Amen.