person holding round framed mirror near tree at daytime

The power of shock

There is a commonality I have found in working with people who are struggling. Its actually a connection that we all share whether now, in the past, or off in the future. While each soul has (or will) experience trauma, though the facts will likely be different, we usually start from a similar point–shock.

If you think about it, when you hear of a tragedy, how often do you hear the person saying, “Yeah, I knew that was going to happen!”? Almost never. Most of the time, if you really listen to a person that is hurting, you will hear that soul searching for how the scenario came to be in the first place. “I didn’t see the car coming.” “I never expected him/her to do that.” “Everything happened so fast! I had no time to think.” “I don’t know how it happened.”

When I started to write on the trembling and bewilderment that overtook Mary and the women who were with her, I decided to see what the other gospel writers had to say about their discovery at the tomb. Though I have read them multiple times, I was taken aback at how different each testimony was. Each contained varying versions of what happened. Mark 16:9 paid particular attention to what the women were physically feeling: trembling and bewildered. The other gospels communicated fear, confusion, awe, doubt, denial, tears, and additional responses not noted in Mark.

At first, I was a bit unsure of how to reconcile the differences. As I contemplated the accounts, and the fact that each writer was sharing the version that they experienced or knew of, an illustration came to mind. Much like looking through a microscope, you can turn the magnification button until it brings the lens in real tight on what you are looking at. If you dial it back, you get a broader view of the sample…hence, more of a big picture. But when something is enlarged, you often forfeit the fine details and specifics that come from magnification. In that process, you can loose valuable data. The same thing occurs with a camera. We can come in very closely on the details of a subject, or pull back and gain a larger picture of the surrounding background. Both perspectives can offer crucial information to aid our understanding.

Being that we have four accounts of what occurred at the tomb, it is important to note that each writer is sharing with us what they observed (or understood to have been observed). Their accounts make up a bigger picture that can be zoomed in upon to give details that may not have been noticed when looking from a broader context. Discussion of this event, the empty tomb, generally centers around the resurrection–the key tenet of our faith. But what if there is more there that God wants us to learn? What if He would like us to bring our lens in a little closer?

Much like the scene of an accident, detectives search for witnesses and interview them to help learn what occurred. Depending upon how close the witness was to the incident, whether they were looking in the right direction, even down to how they are positioned can impact what they see and hear; what they observe and what they miss. You can literally have two people talking to one another when an accident occurs in front of them, and each will remember different details in addition to what they may be able to recall together. At the tomb, we see the same thing occurring. There are the principal witnesses: Mary and the other women, the angel or angels depending upon the account, and the guards. Then, there are witnesses who appeared later: the disciples. While they did not observe directly what happened at the tomb, within short order, they went to the tomb and learned it was empty.

And it is in the emptiness of the tomb that we find all the witnesses bearing a similar response: some form of shock. Call it surprise, if you would like. Confusion, upset, distress, scare, jolt, collapse are a few of the synonyms. (thesaurus.com/shock). Each of the witnesses experienced something different, but all of them suffered a jolt to their understanding. Some were scared; some were confused. Frankly, that is what commonly happens when something painful and unexpected occurs in our lives. Almost as if God is adding emphasis, one of synonyms for shock is traumatism, which means “any abnormal condition produced by trauma, or the trauma or wound itself.” (dictionary.com/traumatism).

When we experience the shock of something, a wound has already begun. What becomes important to know is that our bodies and minds typically respond in certain ways. Tightening our lens on Mark 16:9, we see some of the common physical responses: trembling and bewilderment. When experiencing or recalling a trauma, it is not uncommon for the person sharing to tremble. Trembling can exist in a range from mild shaking to quivering to downright shivering. It is why you see people in emergency situations often covered with a blanket over their shoulders. It is why dogs who are afraid of storms do better when given a jacket that snuggles around them to help ease their trembling. It is why weighted blankets can work wonders for those struggling with PTSD. Trembling is a natural, physical reaction to the high stress that can occur in life. It is not a sign of weakness or cold or that something is wrong with them. One theory is that trembling is the body’s way of resetting the central nervous system after trauma, though the dynamics of why are not fully understood. (Peter A. Levine, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, 1997, North Atlantic Books).

God wants us to understand that the women at the tomb were responding appropriately to something traumatic, and that trauma manifested itself in their reactions and choices. While the resurrection is what we, as Christians, celebrate on Easter, we will be amiss if it is the only thing that we focus on. The gospel writers, with varying details, have described for us much more in the story of the empty tomb. Those details hold important information that we can glean and apply in our own lives and our world. The writers did not keep it simple and linear. They gave us observations and facts based on different eyes, perspectives and positions of those close and those further away from the event.

Shock, at its heart, walks closely with bewilderment. You can see it at most funerals; the family and friends walking around, looking lost or uncertain. The root, bewilder, means “to lead into perplexity or confusion; to lose in pathless places, to confound for want of a plain road.” (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, reprinted in 2009, Foundation for American Christian Education, Volume I, pg. 21). Covid brought plenty of hurt, pain and uncertainty to 2020 and 2021 when so many peoples’ plans became altered–almost pathless–due to a pandemic that was not anticipated by most. The virus continues to make it difficult to plan long term as it ebbs and flows in reaction to society’s movements. Shock can even happen with things that appear positive on the surface. New retirees can feel confounded and lost for want of a “working” purpose in their lives. While retirement may have been longed for, the soul can suffer a loss of structure, purpose and recognition as the person transitions from one stage to the next. This can bring on feelings of confusion, pain, distress, and upset; the hallmarks of an initial shock often coupled with later words that retirement was harder than they had expected.

The women at the tomb were not acting disobediently to the angel when they fled in fear and confusion. They were responding in accordance with how we are made. Shock brought on the trembling as their minds dealt with the confusion of what they were seeing. For survival, shock allows us to function on the level needed to accomplish what has to be done, but it numbs the rest and stops us from processing so that our systems are not overwhelmed further. It focuses the body and brain on what is needed to survive as trauma kicks in our fight, flight and freeze response. Shock can dampen pain so that we can focus on a solution. It can quiet the mind in a way that has a tendency to make things feel like they are in slow motion. And it takes awhile for shock to wear off. Depending upon how we process and cope with the injury, hurt or wound, it can take a long, long time to heal.

The tomb is a story of trauma. The ripple effect of how a larger event can impact many, and how responses can vary in how the event data was seen and retained. The one thing we often gloss over is that there was no celebration at the tomb. The experience was one of fear, awe, pain, confusion, and shock. It wasn’t a holiday. It was another trauma for those who had already experienced the horrifying loss of a loved one, Who just happens to be our Savior and theirs. Maybe it is time for us to look more deeply at the story of the tomb for what it can teach us about trauma responses and people.

All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:25-27
rural road between grassy field

The unexpected

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.

Mark 16:1

The unexpected is oftentimes hard for us. It does not mean that going through what we “expect” is easy, but at least we have some idea of what may befall us. As I read the story of the women who returned to where Christ’s body had been placed, I was struck by the juxtaposition of their strength and determination in the face of significant difficulties, and their intense and fearful reaction to a truth they had not expected.

Mary, and the other women, had gone to the cave where Jesus was placed with the hope that they could properly prepare His body in accordance with Jewish post-death rituals. The notes in my Bible spoke of the large obstacles that awaited them: guards that had been placed outside the cave and the large rock that had been used to seal it. Thinking further on their situation, it was also unlikely that they would be given permission to enter because, as women, they had little standing in their society. However, in their love and devotion for Jesus, they walked on towards those potential obstacles. Their faith lead them to face what seemed impossible.

Now most of us know the story. They arrived at the tomb. The rock had been rolled away, and there sat a young man in a white robe who said, “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” Mark 16:6. From the other gospel accounts, we learn that there was a pile of linens neatly folded where Jesus had once been. In fact, Mary had seen Him laid there before the Sabbath came. It would be shocking to learn that the obstacles you had planned for were mysteriously gone, but these women were jarred with the truth that His body was gone too! That was something they clearly had not considered as they journeyed to honor Him. The angel continued with his statement and instructed them, “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.'” Mark 16:7.

As current-day disciples of Christ, most of us may think that if we had been in their shoes, we would have immediately rushed back to the other disciples–especially Peter–and conveyed the angel’s message. “Chop, chop!”, as I like to say in our household when we need to hurry. It is easy to think that we would have done just as we were told; for heaven’s sake, it was an angel speaking! Who would disobey a direct order from above, coupled with the amazing feat of having the obstacles removed so that they could see that He was gone. Surely, our reactions would have been one of automatic and unquestioning obedience.

But that is not what we saw happen, right? We did not see these disciples, who walked with and loved Christ in the flesh, act with superhero-size faith and instantaneous compliance. Rather, we saw them do as they had often done throughout their journey with Christ; they reacted instinctually to what they observed. In fact, I believe we saw what most humans would have experienced given the circumstances they went through.

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Mark 16:8

It is at this point that it truly helps to understand how our body works and its response mechanisms to the unexpected, painful, and shocking. Simply put, how the body copes when faced with a traumatic event. “Trauma” is rooted, by literal definition, in the Greek word for “wound.” (Dictionary.com/trauma). And wounds can happen physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. “Traumatic,” from the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster, one of our founding fathers, means “pertaining to or applied to wounds.” (Webster, 1828, volume II, page 96). Most people shy away from discussing trauma because it typically involves subjects that can be overwhelming and difficult. Others dismiss trauma information believing that they do not need it or do not work in a field that involves trauma. However, to dress a wound that impacts us or another, we must understand that trauma and wounds are often connected and occur more frequently than we realize. The more we understand about trauma, the better job we will do in helping ourselves and others to heal.

Going a little deeper in unfolding trauma requires us to dig into the meaning of wound. “Wound”, from Noah again, can be a “break of the skin and flesh…caused by violence or external force.” (Webster, volume II, pg. 115). Noah goes on to note, “The self-healing power of living beings, animal or vegetable, by which the parts separated in wounds, tend to unite and become sound, is remarkable proof of divine benevolence and wisdom.” Id. Trauma makes wounds, but inherently, most wounds are designed to heal given enough time and care.

Noah goes on to expand the concept of a wound as “an injury; hurt, as a wound given to credit or reputation.” Id. Hence, wounds can involve both physical and emotional injuries and hurts. They can come from words, a lack of words, or even body language as well as violence and negative physical interaction. Cascading our learning a little further, injury includes “in general, any wrong or damage done to a man’s person, rights, reputation or goods. That which impairs the soundness of the body or the health, or gives pain, is an injury. That which impairs the mental facilities, is an injury. These injuries may be by a fall or other violence. Trespass, fraud, and nonfulfillment of covenants and contracts are injuries to rights. Slander is an injury to reputation, and so is cowardice and vice. Whatever impairs the quality or diminishes the value of goods or property, is an injury.” Id. Additionally, injury can stretch out to involve both “mischief; detriment. Any diminution of that which is good, valuable or advantageous.” Id.

Suddenly, trauma can involve something less than tragic or horrific; it does not have to be extreme in tragedy to qualify as traumatic to the person experiencing it. But we are not done yet. In the definition of wound, which can be thought of as the origin point of trauma, we also find the word, hurt. Let’s unfold that to see what more there is to learn. To save space, here are two lists: its roots and the key words from its definition. Roots of hurt are wounded; to strike or dash against; to push, thrust or drive; to assault; to butt. (Webster, Volume I, pg. 113). Hurt’s key words are: to bruise; to impair the soundness; to damage; to injure by diminution; to damage by reducing the quality; to harm in general; to give pain to. Id. Not all hurts rise to the level of trauma, but all traumas come from hurts or injuries that damage, impair, bruise, demean, reduce, and harm.

Let us think back to the women at the grave. Broadening our vision and going deeper, can we see any event in their lives that had recently taken place that might have caused trauma, injury or hurt to any of them? Absolutely! They had just witnessed Jesus being crucified. But let us push back the timeline a little further…

Mary Magdalene had gone to where the disciples were dining with Jesus, a night or so before His death. With her, she brought an expensive bottle of perfume; something she treasured. As she arrived, she was not welcomed into the dinner; she was not allotted a space at the table. Rather, she got down on her knees and bathed His feet with both the perfume and her tears as the men ate and talked. As she was doing so, the disciples began to scorn and scold her for being wasteful for they could see the money that could have been gained if she had given them the perfume instead of using it on Jesus. They bruised and verbally diminished her and her gift, until Christ, Himself, intervened and corrected their insults and false assumptions. He brought healing to her wounds by gently praising her and declaring that her act would long be remembered in history.

Pushing back even further in time, we see Mary surrounded by many who held a superior position in society and felt justified to condemn her to death for an act of sin that she had been caught in. Most of them held stones in their hands as they had begun the process of judgment that would lead to the punishment of stoning. Alone, she would have faced death had it not been for the hand of her Savior and His words. He admonished them for their willingness to kill another despite the sin they, themselves, had within their own lives. Slowly, one by one the rocks fell to the ground, as those souls realized that their sin could have easily led them to the same fate they had willingly wanted to inflict on her.

In Mark 16, we now see Mary seeking to honor Christ. Yet, despite the obstacles, the soldiers who radiated a menacing presence, and how powerless they were, she and her companions pushed on until they were faced with something they had not anticipated; the lack of His body and an angel waiting for them. Those two things triggered a strong fear response in their bodies. In fact, it appears that the fear was already anticipated by heaven when the angel uttered these words, “Do not be alarmed.” But why? Why were they so overcome with fear when they had already expected to face the insurmountable? Why did the gospel writer feel convicted to note that the angel had foreknowledge of how they would likely respond to what they were seeing and what they could not see?

Because God has designed our bodies to take in trauma certain ways. Our systems, both body and brain are filled with nerve endings and senses that move at a speed that overwhelmingly outpaces our minds. When we are frightened, threatened, surprised, or even angered, we process circumstances differently than how we process most of the other events in our lives. Reflecting on the definitions of trauma, wound, injury, and hurt, it becomes crucial for us to recognize how traumatic events (whether big or small) impact us and those who surrounds us, whether friend, foe or stranger.

Before you deny the impact of hurts in your life, do you know that there can be secondary trauma? Yes, it is true. Secondary trauma can occur as people help other people through something traumatic despite not having been wounded or experienced the trauma firsthand. Sometimes it can occur just from learning of the trauma and understanding the impact. Trauma ramifications flow first to the person experiencing the injury, and then outward. It can have a ripple effect as news and the aftereffects circle out amongst those near and then move towards those further away. Much like a wave reaching a distant shore, trauma can continue well past its origin point.

When we unfold God’s words that involve trauma, we learn that we should not make quick evaluations or assumptions about others. We do not know what their past truly involves. In fact, we need to pause and stop relegating the effects of trauma to only near-death experiences or great tragedies; that blinds us to how pervasive trauma wounds are in our lives and the lives of others. Our blindness can lose sight of moments made for compassion, kindness and healing. As injury and hurt indicate, most of us have more painful moments in our lives than we likely want to acknowledge or understand. Despite our society being rooted in independence, toughness and forgiveness, our bodies are designed to quickly return to prior hurts when something too familiar reminds us of them. Hurts cannot be healed by indifference, denial, demands, procrastination, or deception. There is no sweeping it under the rug, as our bodies are not designed to do so. When we force things down or underground, we will not prevail in healing as the hurt and its effects will find their way to the surface of our lives eventually.

The science of trauma, which shows how it impacts our lives, has grown dramatically in recent decades. The effects of trauma can impact our decision making without us even being aware. It gives birth to many our fears, and lends support to the things we do to cope. It can cloud, like a thin film over our eyes, how we see and deal with others. Our hurts and injuries, our wounds, are catalogued by our body and considered in the future by our brains, whether we like it or not. Learning more about trauma is one way to loosen its impact on our lives. Understanding more about it can help heal those wounds that lie inside of us while also holding the potential to impart healing to others. God often moves souls into the path of those who have walked a similar road so that they know they are not alone and that their healing will eventually rise and overcome the brokenness of their hurts or injuries.

So, with that under our belts, let’s look at Mary and her companion’s reactions as they speak boldly and truthfully about how the body responds to trauma.

“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb.”

Mark 16:8

selective focus photo of magnifying glass

Understanding the depths of serving.

“Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it seem to you like nothing? But now be strong”…declares the Lord. “Be strong…. For I am with you…. And My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.”

Haggai 2:3-5

You might wonder why a small organization dedicated to growing faith and bringing encouragement to those struggling might want to talk about trauma? Encouraging, it turns out, is often a part of building or even the rebuilding of something that once was. When we are encouraging others, we are building up faith; when we are building faith, it frequently comes through strengthening others. And when faith falters, encouragement and support are the brickwork that restores it firmness and resolve.

Many years ago, we met a woman from New Orleans a year after Katrina barreled through Louisiana leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. While her home survived the flood waters because it was on the upper floors of a high-rise building, her belongings did not survive the looters who came in weeks later destroying everything they could in search of hidden money and goods. She had been referred to us by a program who had a family that needed help with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This gal had long loved Christ and humbly served in His Name much of her life, but at her lowest, she lost sight of Him in the midst of the storm that ravaged her life. That “storm” went well past Katrina’s arrival and departure. After boarding a bus with nothing but her loved ones, she found herself in Detroit trying to make her way in an unfamiliar land with little resources and great uncertainty as to what the future held. Her hope had been wearing then; her faith was clearly struggling.

That Christmas morning, she called. She tenderly shared that she had been at her wits end. She described how she had loved God and always felt near to Him. At first, in the hours and weeks after Katrina exited Louisiana, she was able to hold out hope and faith, but as the days grew longer and harder, she became concerned that maybe, somehow, God had forgotten her. Fear crept in as the confusion and heartache seemed unending. She cried out to Him repeatedly wondering if He even knew where she was anymore, or how devastated the storm had left them. Over a year later of unimaginable stress and change, she felt overwhelmed by her doubts and trapped by her fear. Shortly thereafter, packages arrived at her apartment full of food for Thanksgiving, with more arriving on Christmas along with presents and clothes. That very Christmas morning, she understood that God was telling her that He knew right where she was, and that message–via our hands and feet–restored her hope and faith. She spoke with excitement and renewal; her exact words were that her “faith had been restored.” She was not able to wait until the following day to call; she needed me to know that through our kind hearts and willing hands, she had received the message that she was not forgotten nor forsaken.

It was a conversation that deeply humbled me. Though it was early on Christmas morning, and a complete surprise, her call had come at the perfect time. I, myself, was struggling with the nay-sayers in my life who did not feel that FBF was necessary or needed. The work we had been doing, the deliveries we had been making, were scoffed at and trivialized by others on the periphery of our lives and dismissed as if serving God (and others) was an unnecessary hobby that was inherently selfish. The needs of others, they lamented, were not really needs at all, but rather poor choices that deserved the consequences of barren trees and tables. Their words had gotten the best of me, in part because I was not expecting them, and I spent Christmas Eve that year pondering if I had been mistaken in some way. Her kind phone call was God’s answer to me about the fears and doubts others had tried to saddle me with. Her call quickly cleared their weighty words and judgment from my conscience, as her needs were deeper than I had known. Our connection, her world and mine, both needed each other though we did not know that. Together, through kindness and support, God encouraged each of us that we, with His help and very Presence, could do what He was asking–we could walk where He had led.

Understand that life usually contains those who complain, demand, take, dismiss, deny, doubt, manipulate, and do nothing more than what benefits them. It will likely be those same type of nay-sayers who will say that there is nothing to be gained by sharing information about trauma, but friends, that is where His Words leads us when we serve Him and others. He takes us to the poor (and the word, poverty involves more than financial means), the brokenhearted, the captives, the blind, those trapped in darkness (yep, that’s different from being blind), the sick, the needy, those mourning, those feeling overwhelming despair, those in prison (again, that word is more expansive than most realize). The list is long and extensive, as our world really has a never-ending need for His hope. Hence, FBF’s newest outreach–writing about Scripture that can teach us God’s perspective on hurt while also looking at the trauma information that our world is learning, so that we can live out caring with more understanding and tenderness.

For over 16 years, we have been trying to simply live out Isaiah 61:1-3.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor.

Isaiah 61:1

In this Katrina story, I had naively thought the “good news” we were sharing was that their Christmas was going to be one to celebrate and enjoy–that God had not forgotten them and had moved many hearts to remind them of His love and faithfulness during hard times. A worthy message. When I say na├»ve, it is because so often we want to simply “drop” off that which joyfully lifts another’s heavy heart without actually stopping and looking at the brokenness that has weighed it down in the first place. It would be like dropping off some money onto the gentleman who laid in the road in the Good Samaritan’s path, rather than stopping and tending the wounds that caused him to be stuck laying on the ground.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…

Isaiah 61:1

It was dark where this woman was, but not in the physical world where she resided. The city had provided them with an apartment; organizations were trying to help where they could. Rather, it was a spiritual and emotional darkness that had heavily descended onto her world; a direct result of what she had and was still enduring. She felt alone, unseen, burdened and troubled. Responsible for souls who had boarded that bus with her; frightened by the continuous stream of unknowns that appeared at every bend. Exhausted by trying to figure out how to survive while needing to learn new ways and new paths for her future. Her heart was still invisibly bleeding, and her faith was struggling to regain its ground as doubt sought to overcome its very existence. She needed someone to see her; to listen, to hear, and to want to understand. Someone who would not judge her in her delicate time of need. She needed emotional and spiritual support as well as physical and provisional help.

You see, a hurricane with power unlike most in recent history devastated one of our large cities and moved thousands from the only homes they had known. Does that sound at all familiar in today’s headlines? (There are so many reasons and events in the world around us that are begging for us to understand how trauma will impact lives.) Looking back, trauma was written all over her story and her spirit; long before we knew much about it. When we dropped off Easter baskets that following spring, I met her in person for the first time. She was waiting for me with pictures in hand as she asked me to sit next to her. She wanted me to see the devastation to her apartment caused by other human beings and not the storm. She needed me to understand that being in need was new to her; that she had a very good life before. She longed for me to hear how hard it was to evacuate and leave everything she loved and had known. She wanted compassion for what it was like to be in a city where no one knows your name, your history or even seemed to notice your pain. Her pictures still hold a special place in my mind. The trauma she lived through she needed to share, and quite frankly, years later, I still need to think about her, from time to time, to remember why God has us doing what He does. To see that those beginning moments were steps towards what we do and know today.

Now, for those of you who have watching from behind your screens or in visits to help build baskets, set up events, drop off things to be shared, sort through items–please hit the repeat button on this kind of story for each of the last sixteen years. It is why you see databases go up, our newsletters list needs, the stories we share to inspire people to know they can do good, and the posts we share about what we are doing. We have seen and listened to many traumas. Can you now see why God has us, FBF, bringing encouragement to others? Because they have hit a rough spot in life.

While there are many different stories in descriptions and circumstances, they all stem from a wound–something scary, unsettling, painful, shocking, or life altering/ending–that has caused an injury or hurt to the body, mind or soul. Heaven knows that trauma does not require hurricanes to exist; hurt, injury and wounds are all that are necessary to create a traumatic moment or moments. Life’s hard spots are where trauma can and does develop. And much of what we do involves bringing hope and support to those tough moments and the aftermath that follows.

We have walked with trembling and bewildered souls for some time now, at varying points in their trauma processing, and we know that there are more out there than the ones we can reach. Trauma is not limited to catastrophe; in fact, it does not always heal in a chronological order like we would expect. Souls can walk a long time after an event is “over” before ever allowing others to see or know of their wounds. It is why it is so helpful to know a bit more about how trauma works, how our bodies are designed, how God would like us to be when we are with a wounded soul, and what He offers us when our own souls, minds and bodies are wounded. This understanding is at the heart of bringing encouragement and hope; it can make all the difference between dropping off only what is “needed” in a physical sense and tenderly providing comfort, inspiration and reassurance to the aid of a healing soul.

We know that not everyone will want or see this information as helpful and that is okay. Not everyone who comes to take part in a FBF event takes away the same thing. One may need a basket; another may desperately need the enjoyment and satisfaction of building one to help another. Another soul may long to ease someone’s burdens and, in the end, discover that their load has been lightened just by helping. Someone may need clothes or to give clothes, and yet find themselves leaving better clothed with support, encouragement and love from souls that genuinely care. All along God has guided us in the principal of not worrying about the numbers we may reach, but rather that we trust Him that there are others out there that need to be reached with what He nudges us to give. We pray that, in today’s world and for the days ahead, others will benefit from what we have learned (and will continue to learn) in the arena of tending wounds and encouraging faith. That is our simple hope and goal for this written outreach.

Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of the Lord.”

2 Chronicles 30:22