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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Going Gently In the Numbness

FEELING paralysed, if under spiritual attack, or overwhelmed by the ferocity of life, brings us into that certain location of aberrant uncertainness.
We sit there or lay there totally immobile. Nothing can make its way through or into us. We are magnificently perplexed. Insanity, if we’ve never experienced it before, must feel something like this. Everything in the mind is seized and locked up.
Then we might utter some gibberish with a concerned partner or friend who is thereby positioned as counsellor (whether they or you like it or not).
The words used and the quality of the communication are irrelevant at this point. Getting unbogged is never pretty, but it is critically necessary.
Going gently in the numbness is the augury of wisdom, a power altogether available even in helplessness. Indeed, wisdom might come to the fore, even in the numbness by the fact of knowing that only gentleness will do.
Our souls are most vulnerable in the numbness of not knowing what to do or being unable to do anything. What we most need is our own gentle ministry to ourselves — or, as us believers will purport, God’s Spiritual Presence, which is a potent form of such a thing only we could avail of for ourselves.
Gentleness is everything to an otherwise seriously fatigued soul, as in the gentleness and humility of the Spirit of Christ of Matthew 11:28-30. Such gentleness is rest for our souls. Such gentleness is all that could add value at times like this. Gentleness that takes pressure away.
I speak of personal experience here.
Vanquished of spirit and bereft of soul — or so it appeared to me — I was able to detect a courageous personal honesty, but one so vulnerable as to need unconditional acceptance. God so often provided just the person for me, as for me I was often a person placed in such another person’s brutally vulnerable situation.
Numbness is the soul so brutalised that neither the mind nor the heart could help.
Yet, at the same time, numbness was needed so the soul could break the shackles of the mind (thinking) and the heart (feeling) that ‘knew better’.
Of course, nothing within us knows better than the soul, for the soul is God’s indwelt vessel, and all the mind and heart could do would be to flummox the soul.
So go gently into the numbness that can neither think nor feel, for numbness is close to God where only God might help.
Remember that God’s true help is truly the only help we need. And God’s true help comes truly through others.
Don’t be hassled by the exigent mind and heart as they panic.
Gain rest for your soul when you’re numb. Go gently. Accept what is. It is easier to do than we initially think.

© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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