Saturday, December 10, 2011

Making Sense of our Lives


People who are able to make sense of their difficult or traumatic experiences are more resilient, more able to have secure attachments than those who haven’t. A child who has one person in their life who is present to them, who sees them, who is able to help them make sense of their experiences will survive even traumatic experiences more readily than one who doesn’t. (It has to do with the connections between the left brain and its rationality to the right brain and its bodily and emotional responses. For those who know about neuroscience, please forgive my limited understanding and explanations!)

When we read Scripture, we enter into the story of history and find our own place in it. I read the prophets and discover that the pattern of God’s work is the pattern of death and resurrection, not “progress”. I remember that God is a God who brings life out of death. I identify with the lamentations of Jeremiah and remember that in spite of how things looked at the time, God did fulfill his promises to his people. When I participate in communion I remember and reenact God bringing life out of death. My brain is making sense of my own experiences – making a narrative, putting it into context. I am entering into and finding my place in the story.

Reading the Bible ... participating in communion ... changes your brain.

2 comments:

Courtney said...

It makes me think of more traditional church liturgy, in which the service is structured to prepare your heart for communion (as the focal point of the service). I deeply value the focus the evangelical church has on teaching... but... I crave the intentionality about creating space and stillness to come to the table.

Carolyn said...

Yes, great observation! The liturgy engages us in ways that go beyond the "learn something and go apply it" approach we evangelicals have had so much of.