All-Embracing Love

I can remember the first time I was hurting inside, and someone hugged me. It was in a Year 8 drama lesson. We’d been assigned to groups, to work on a sketch to perform; at the point of coming to the stage, the group denied all knowledge that I’d been working with them for the past hour. My 13 year-old self was devastated. I fought tears while they performed, whilst someone else put their arms around me. And I felt warm, and soothed, and like things would be OK.

Before that, I’d been laughed at at school for crying; told off and punished at home. I’d been hugged before, but not in the midst of emotional pain. Emotional hurt, sadness, anger, were things I wasn’t supposed to feel. So, I never learnt what to do with them.

I’ve been taught God loves childways to handle them since; to distract myself, to self-soothe. Like the swimming pool, where I feel held up by the water around me; like warm blankets that hide me away. Like psalms that speak of God’s embrace. Lectio divina. And these things do ease the rawness of what I feel. But sometimes, the pain seeps through into tears that feel like they will never end.

And I am told again this week that I emanate pain at church, and that my pain distresses others. But I can’t control it, if I am triggered, and God is the only one I know who can take it, so I don’t know what to do. And I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know what to do. I feel like I am unwelcome; like I shouldn’t be at church. All I want is to sense God holding me tight.

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2 Responses to All-Embracing Love

  1. Actually, church is the very place you SHOULD be. It’s the place where you should be hugged, and embraced, and held. Of course you emanate pain! You ARE in pain. And what is being reflected back to you is someone else’s discomfort with your pain. That, my dear friend, is for them to deal with!

    It’s easy for church to claim that it’s inclusive. It’s another matter altogether to practice inclusion! Inclusion isn’t just for the gay, the lesbian, the transgendered; it’s for those with disabilities, the sick (physically and mentally), the old, the young: whatever would separate an individual from others – that is what inclusion is about. All else is exclusion!

    The problem with so much of church is that we expect it to be for our own comfort!

    Liked by 1 person

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