War, disaster, PTSD and compassion fatigue. I am sense making. When my friend died in my presence it set my life on fire in a way. That was 6 1/2years ago. It took about 4 years for the shock to wear off. She had been ill and we were anticipating her departure but I was unprepared. When she died it was as if her soul just breathed out of her and no one could catch it. So fragile, less than a breath, truly more like a wisp of smoke, James 4:14. She was gone.
Once the shock wore off, I earnestly began to inquire about my life and God’s purpose for it. I don’t know if I have concrete answers. I have some thoughts to share is all for now:
Here’s the thing that sticks out: the presence of the Lord came for my friend – I have never felt such love before or since. I think I recognized that presence – it having been there at each conception and at the death of a quail I shot and killed. If this is true, then those who suffer PTSD have been in the presence of the Lord, had a near brush with their Maker. The good news is that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free, John 8:32. What happens when an unbeliever dies? The Lord is still the Maker, but does He come in love or wrath?
So, what if some PTSD is simply the human mind trying to survive and willing that its carrier, the body, not return to danger? I’m thinking of World War I and shell shock. I do not see that as cowardice but as wise for the wise see the danger and hide themselves, Proverbs 14:16. What if some PTSD is the mind attempting to comprehend its own frail existence? and its place before its Maker? David wrote “teach me to number my days”, Psalm 39:4. And, Paul told us to think of ourselves with sober judgment, Romans 12:3 . May the peace of Christ garrison your hearts and mine.
- Fears, misconceptions of PTSD fuel divide (stripes.com)
- Cyber Therapist Can Spot PTSD by Creeping on Veterans’ Blogs (gizmodo.com)
- Association Between Poor Sleep And PTSD After Heart Attack (medicalnewstoday.com)