Many Christian couples do not pray together. They often don’t realize the power and grace of simply sitting down together, regularly, holding hands, and praying from their hearts about the issues of life. They will pray by themselves, they will occasionally say traditional prayers. Facing each other, praying from their hearts, makes them feel uncomfortable. So they make excuses. Research indicates that couples Read more →
I’d like to welcome Dr Moreno as a contributor to the Guest Column. I have had the honor of praying with him on the phone regularly, and consider him a good friend. He has much wisdom to share with all of us. Linda Schubert.
“It is because God had made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” Genesis 41:53
In Exodus 3:7-8, God sees the suffering of His people in Egypt and says, “ I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…”
On Sunday, I received the most open, loving, joyous hug that I have ever had. Dennis, our new brother, who served in Vietnam, said to me “This has changed my life!” I doubted and asked him how so? He had participated in only 2 days of a Veteran weekend at “Flag is up Farms” in Solvang, California.
He said, “Few people welcomed me back from Vietnam. This weekend is the first time I ever felt welcomed back. I found a family here at Monty’s!”
We have volunteered at Monty Roberts’ Horse Sense for Healing, a three day weekend event for military Veterans for 4-5 years. It really has been life enhancing. We get to spend time with Veterans from all over the world, sharing their particular story of pain and suffering.
We do not like talking about the things that hurt us. The things that cause us grief or rage or pain. And those are the things that open us up. When we are empathetic, when we let down the walls, showing vulnerability, when we trust those around us, we build bonds. Bonds that heal. Bonds that lift us up.
Monty commonly talks about how his father was severely abusive and caused 72 fractures in his childhood body, before he was 12 years old. We do not like hearing these stories. We want to stay safe, in our “happy” place.
However, when we hear and share in the suffering of others we open our hearts and something magical happens. Research and our own life experience shows that when we develop deep connections we heal.
If we compare an individual that smokes or is obese, for example, to one that feels socially isolated, the one who feels isolated has a higher risk of having a heart attack, heart failure, cancer, accidents, suicide, substance abuse, etc.
Bruce Alexander, PhD, the creator of “Rat Park” showed that over 75% of rats, who had “addicted brains”, to heroin or cocaine, would wean themselves off of the substance when placed in a social, fun, living space. Dr. Alexander sums up his research by, “It is either connection or addiction”.
How do we do this? How do we connect? How do we get better at connecting with our spouses, children, co-workers?
These questions will be explored in a second article on Connection.
My prayer for us: Lord help us be vulnerable, you came to us as an infant child born of Mary. Help us bear our wounds. Help us share our pain. Help us create better connections with those around us. We tend to get caught up in life, busy doing, getting ready for the Holidays. Allow us a new spirit of openness. Of bringing down our walls, pretending that we are fine. As you did with the captive Egyptian slaves, open our eyes to our brothers’ sufferings and allow us compassion to connect with those feelings of pain that we all know. Allow us to be filled with your Spirit of Life. Connected to You. Connected to those around us. Increase our capacity to connect a fundamental part of our humanness.