A Safe Place.

Stress from outside – distress from inside: we all experience such to different degrees.

Internal distress can be harder to accept and deal with and the remedies may not be as effective.  Think of the distress of severe depression.  Think of the mental distress of Spurgeon, Brainerd and Cowper.

There is another kind of mental distress that may be linked to depression but has different characteristics e.g. the restlessness and agitation that occurs with some drug reactions or food intolerances – and maybe something like the distress of autism.

What is that distress like?  It’s too much.  My mind can’t handle it.  Nothing seems to fit.  Terror.  A nightmare that will never, ever stop.

As Christians – and especially Christian doctors – we have a mandate and responsibility to relieve that distress while maintaining sanctity of life (thou shalt not kill).  And yes, we use medications that enhance the ability to control one’s thought processes and also to relieve depression and obsessive thoughts and compulsive desires and we are getting better and better at all this.

But there are times we cannot help and it may be useful to develop or re-develop a safe place.

A Safe Place is somewhere we can hide.  It may for some be a real place but it can also be a memory of a real place or it can be imagined.

On a recent bushwalk when we were telling The Story around the campfire, one person contributed by telling about the children coming to Jesus and imagining what it would be like to have sat on the knee of Jesus and then being able to say in later life, I sat on the knee of Jesus.  Now there’s a safe place to think of and go back to when distress comes.

Your safe place may be with a person e.g. parent; grandparent; other special person.  Or it may more directly be in a God-place.  It may be in the Bethlehem stable, or with Simeon or Anna in the temple as they saw the baby Jesus, or sitting with Jesus as a boy in the temple as he amazed the teachers, or being on the beach after the resurrection (yeah – I like that one…), or it may be an aspect of heaven.

Think about it.  Pray about it.  Imagine your safe place.  There may be some you should reject!  And it may change as you grow in love for the great God who is our Rock and Redeemer, who covers us with His wings and who is our real Hiding Place.

And maybe you can help others in their distress to find their safe place.  Having established what that might be you may, in their time of distress, be able to say to them: come with me and sit on Jesus’ knee – you will be safe there.

Lachlan Dunjey.  15 May 2003.

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2 Responses to “A Safe Place. on “A Safe Place.”

  • thanks Lachlan,

    Rumination on bad things seems to be our natural starting point

    very useful to remember we have to train our minds to do the other

    Keep up the good work


  • I loved this, thank you. A comforting reminder in turbulent times.

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