A person in their 70's living in a bus in a rural location. Alone. Not very mobile. Screaming about the plight they're in. A caseworker will pick up a Medical item for this one. Hoping it brings some hope and relief. Sounds traumatic to me.
Another client being stalked, trying to keep safe. Always looking over shoulder, anxiety and fear. Trauma...now and in the past apparently.
And another who confessed they have not eaten in 2 days. Also dealing with a serious health issues and in transition. On going trauma about health issues and some lack of control as to the outcome.
Another who must pay an outrageous amount of money each month to live on someone's property in a small R.V. There are circumstances that make finding a place of their own very difficult. Now 'putting up' with 'landlords' bad behavior. Trauma. Anxiety. Fear.
A young person, not quite of age, living on own as parents are gone. Must meet on needs and complete school. Loss is a trauma, being on your own at a young age is as well.
A person who is drinking so much, health is precarious, in need of intervention. Without shelter.
We can often be quick to judge. Why would a person be drinking so much? Hmmm. Trying to quiet the pain of on going trauma? Or a past trauma?
The definition of trauma is; "deeply distressing and/or disturbing experiences...that accumulate in an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds ones ability to cope or to integrate the emotions involved in that experience."
Trauma creates health issues and sometimes leads to suicide.
We know we often work with people who are actually 'children walking around in adult bodies." This is also true of each of us to some degree. Some of us have the blessing of getting helps and healing and support. Let us be tender and compassionate with those who perhaps do not have the resources needed.
Let us also remember to be aware of children in our lives and decide to be a voice for each one when needed. Prevention of trauma is most helpful. If trauma does happen...choose to be an advocate for these vulnerable ones. Be strong...it may change the entire direction of their lives!
As we think about trauma and the impact of that, it's natural to think about people who are dealing with being homeless. What has been found, is that when people have a place of rest and respite...they are often able to function better because of not being in survival mode. They can actually rest/sleep and make plans to move forward. That's a great reason for us to think Housing FIRST.
Jesus loves each of these people and all others who have also come across our path. Do we? And HOW well are we loving them?
Some Truth to soak in;
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. ALL of US ALSO lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh...deserving of wrath...but because of His GREAT LOVE for us, GOD, who is RICH in mercy made us alive with Christ...it is by GRACE you have been saved, through Faith and this is not of yourselves, it is a GIFT from God~~not by works so no one can boast." from Eph. Chapt 2. Good to take time to 'soak' in. It is by grace and that is a gift....
We are all in need of grace.
So let us have compassion and mercy on people who are struggling in darkness and trauma and somehow bring HOPE into their lives. Let us speak Truth. Let us do things that are truly helpful. Housing is helpful. Pray for ways for this to happen well in our community. Miracles!
These are real people, Neighbors in Need who live in Benton county... whom God dearly loves. Thanks for praying and serving.