When someone puts words to your feelings there is instant relief. It identifies the “thing” you struggled to communicate yet it is as real tears you cry to express it. I felt this when David Peters explained moral injury. From a clinical view I feel it was almost text book.
The phrase moral compass describes the innate pull to know right from wrong and choose right. I feel confident, not arrogant for saying I had and have a moral compass. Not perfect but I tend to navigate towards what is “right.” I also try to apologize and take responsibility when I have wronged someone.
The accident left me feeling like I was no longer a good person, my soul, my spirit injured…moral injury. Thankfully with God’s grace this is not a stamp marked across my forehead yet it lingers. God’s word says that I am not marked by my sin or experiences, it does not define me, or you.
Here are some of my take-a-ways with talking to David.
- The first thing was his name. I won’t over-spiritualize this but David was the name of the man I was in an accident with. I vowed to the Lord I would not fear that name every time I hear or speak the name David but instead I would pray for his children. So secretly the whole time I was also thinking of them during this podcast recording.
- It amazes me that through this painful experience God has made connections with complete strangers. How a teacher from Central Texas can have common ground with a retired Army Chaplain who has served our country overseas and yet there were several instances of true understanding behind actions and thoughts. (Connection to song, hating our cars, triggers, taking chances that would be “fair” if something happened to us like cosmic law)
- Crushed- it is a strong word. Crushed in spirit. Crushed dreams. Crushed identity. When we crush something you might feel it is destroyed but not through a biblical lens. The crushing of grapes is a transition that leads to wine. In my humble opinion wine is the best part of grapes. I am glad that this was brought up, take time to meditate on this topic. Here are some additional verses: 2 Cor 4:8, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 13:12, and James 1:2-4
- Speaking of grapes, let’s talk communion. When your heart is heavy, this practice always comforts and puts things in perspective. David said during his time of disconnect and anger with God he could still be fully present and connect with this sacred practice. Unknowingly, my interviewee had no idea that I too am fond of the breaking of bread and drinking the cup. I am always moved by this remembrance of what Christ did for me, for all. Often I weep as I pray over my wafer and tiny cup of juice. This was the first thing Chris and I did as husband and wife. A precious memory. If you feel burdened by your past or current state I urge you to grab a cracker and splash of juice. Give thanks for what Christ did for you on the cross, ask for forgiveness and cleansing. Ask for renewing of your mind and praise Him for bearing the burden of sin. Thank him for his love. You will be changed.
- Silence. This is something I take part of more after the accident. Before I did not enjoy silence in fact it made me nervous and I would fill up space with awkward or irrelevant noise, humming, conversation, anything to fill the silence. Now I need it to recharge. It gives me time to sort out thoughts. I am often over-stimulated with just the daily grind. What struck me is that both my first guest Dr. John Knox ( the Chaplain who helped me immediately after and during the recovery) also talked about the ministry of silence. David referenced the book of Revelation 8:1-5 where heaven was silent before Jesus return. The calm before the storm. The enormity of what will happen when Satan is defeated. The preparation. Silence really is golden. If you struggle with silence as I did before my accident I challenge you to reflect on why, embrace it, make peace with it and take emotional inventory of how you feel afterwards.
Since the editing process I have listened to the episodes again and not for any vain reason but to really hear and absorb all that we can learn from one another. What stood out for you?
Please check out my friend and fellow CADIs book, Christ Walk Crushed: A 40-Day Journey Toward Reconciliation. If you missed the podcast here are links to the series.