Recently, I had a chance to chat with a person who is very involved with the homeless in our community. She pointed out that it’s not an exaggeration to say that every homeless person in our city is coming from a place of trauma.
Overwhelmingly, they are born with some brain damage from their mother’s drug and alcohol use. Almost every one has physical or sexual abuse as their earliest memory. Most, if not all, can tell of standing between their mother and someone who is beating her; followed by cleaning the wounds and washing blood off the walls. As they age, that trauma leads to numbing out through drugs and alcohol, which only increases their brain damage. As we look on in judgment, we tsk, tsk, and wonder why they make such poor choices.
Why do we do that? Brene Brown states that everyone has a story that will break your heart; many have a story that will bring you to your knees. This world leaves its mark on each of us – we all have PTSD. It’s just that some of us are a little more higher functioning than others; we can hide the damage a little better. But given the right conditions our trauma will rear it’s ugly head.
This makes me thankful for the promise in Revelation 22:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
Lord, please hurry, we are so desperate.