USA (MNN) — The National Council for Trauma reports that nearly 70 percent of adults in the US have experienced trauma in their lives – that’s approximately 223.4 million people. The number grows exponentially worldwide. Since trauma is such a widespread affliction, how should the Body of Christ respond to its impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide?
Glenn Dunn, Director of Domestic Ministries at Set Free Ministries, an organization dedicated to ministering to people who have suffered from trauma, explains the shared role of both the individual and the Church in the healing process.
Simply having a desire for healing is not enough. It is equally as important for trauma victims to seek healing as it is for the Church to be open to serving them, Glen explains. “It would be wonderful if we could just simply sit on our couch, ask him to do all the work. But we wouldn’t find that relationship.”
God does not necessarily “take away” the effects of trauma or illness because we ask him to – instead, Glenn notes, the process of healing begins with Jesus and leads to further healing. This is a central part of Set Free Ministries and guides their mission of service.
The Department of Mental Health categorizes trauma into three separate types: acute trauma (single incident), chronic trauma (repeated and prolonged; i.e. domestic violence). Unfortunately, despite the availability of both public and private resources for trauma victims, not every incident is reported. Some common reasons for not reporting include fear of retaliation or shame.
What’s more, the western Church has not always been as significantly involved in serving millions of trauma survivors. Glen suggests that this is partially to do with trauma being associated with having a ‘dirty past’ and often elicits feelings of guilt. People focus on shame instead of searching for the freedom which Christ offers. “The Western worldview has become one that if we’re a Christian, our life is supposed to go a certain way and our past is supposed to be forgotten, and, unfortunately, neither of those are accurate.”
The association of guilt and shame with those who have experienced trauma undermines the power of the Cross. Christ not only heal our own sins, but also the sins against us. The Church should help begin the process of healing with Christ as well as receiving and serving others who are seeking to walk in the freedom of Christ.
Learn more about Set Free Ministries and what people like Glenn are doing to serve trauma survivors and how you can be a part of the story by clicking the link here
Header photo courtesy of Set Free Ministries.