What Turns Your Stomach Maybe A Prompt To Turn Your Heart.

Revulsion.
I looked at the pictures and I was revolted. I am not going share the image with you or even describe it. I do want to ask you though if there is anything that just triggers a feeling of revulsion.

I have heard some horrible stories, some of which I will carry for the rest of my life, and I only carry them lightly because I have Christ taking the fullness of the load with me. They don’t weigh me down, but at the time they were wounds to the soul, now they are healed scars of being present to revulsion.

I feel God calling me to write about the Dehumanised Man. Back in 2009 I wrote an essay for my final undergraduate paper at Carey Baptist College. It was titled Dehumanisation and Sexual Abuse – An essay on how sexual abuse dehumanises the human soul and a Christian response to this. Grab a copy if you like. 

I used the Jesus story of the Dehumanised Man (The Good Samaritan) to look through the eyes of the man abused and left naked in the ditch.

 What would he have felt, heard, sensed etc

 Jesus used this story to describe what love truly is like. To embrace that which others may find revolting.

 It was a horrible essay to write. Who wants to read stories of sexual abuse and being used as an object of gratification?

 There is a call in this story for me, and for you.

 The alluring whisper from the Holy Spirit is to invite a turning of the heart to the person of revulsion. Christ speaks ‘Do you see that I see’.

 I don’t believe its a call to become overwhelmed and traumatised by the horror of the event. It is an invite to ask God’s grace to help you understand the soul at an empathetic level. That the other person experiences agape love. That they know what it like to be known, explored, discovered, touched.

10 Ideas to help you safely embrace the ‘revolted’ one.

 

  1. Pray and ask for the eyes of Christ. How would Christ see this person? Imagine yourself as Christ looking at this situation. What thoughts and feelings would Christ have?
  2. Pray and ask for a compelling vision. What would this person and this situation be like if it was fully alive with released presence of God. A compelling vision looks beyond the present to a time and place where Holy Spirit transformation has crafted something new and fresh.
  3. Look beyond the immediate to where the soul is. What is in front of you can be truly overwhelming, but catch yourself and ask yourself and God what is happening in this person’s soul. Under the waterline of presenting issues what is truly happening.
  4. Pray and ask for Agape love. Unconditional sacrificial love that goes beyond the what we know or can manufacture of ourselves. Ask God for this gift of love.
  5. Talk with others. Debrief about what you’re experiencing with safe others. It maybe a  counsellor, spiritual director, pastor or someone else that won’t just give bandaid quick fix solutions. You also need someone that can safely know, explore, discover, and touch you.
  6. Sip don’t Slurp. Some stories and experiences you can only sip at, taking little samples. If you slurp, or take too much in at one time it be overwhelming. Its ok to say ‘I have heard enough for the moment and I am interested in the rest of your story so we will continue this next week’.
  7. Know your limits. We all have limits to what we can safely handle and thats ok. God has equipped some people with skills and wisdom to be able to take the conversation further than you can take it. So please feel free to tell yourself and the other ‘This … is what I can do and this … is what I can’t do’.
  8. Remember its Millimetre Ministry. Rome wasn’t built in a day and seeing change in  people, especially traumatised people, takes many millimetre steps. Being consistent in the journey is more valuable than praying for a miraculous brain transplant.
  9. Self care. It is ok to look after yourself and please do so! How can we truly give out love from a empty bucket. Do you love yourself enough to rest, say ‘No’, take up hobbies, exercise. Modelling self care to others trains them to self care for themselves.
  10. Explore what it is you’re feeling revolted by. Why are you reacting in this way? Perhaps the feeling of revulsion has been triggered of from past experiences. Like an echo in a cave it all comes flashing back in full and glorious colour. Step back, take a breath and seek help for that unbearable feeling. Remember Christ is with you and he was when that event happened those years ago. Invite him into that space to be your comfort, strength and truth.

 

Questions to consider and leave a comment.
  • What triggers revulsion feelings for you? Why?
  • What would it be like to get down into the ditch of the naked dehumanised man and bathe his wounds?
  • Who are the ones that society in general is revolted by?

 

Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: Angelo González via Compfight cc

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2 comments

  1. Thank you for some very good advice and insights. I especially am glad for how you recommend entering the story of another in manageable steps to avoid ‘vicarious trauma’ which can be a very real risk with the truly ‘revolting’ situations some have suffered.

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