More and more we are needing to incorporate ‘Days of Remembrance’ into our emotional calendar and while I’m no therapist, I’d be willing to bet that the impact on our psyche is not negligible.
Let me start with yesterday, then go on to today…
The Prime minister spoke to the nation last night and confirmed what many expected. While there has been slight positive movement in the metrics (infections, hospitalizations, mortality rates) it is only the beginning of that positive change, and not yet stable enough to shift course in terms of the lockdown measures.
It means that we still need to fill out a government form to leave home (risking a 135€ fine) and in fact some measures will go further. Dominic, who has been continuing to attend school, will only attend on alternate weeks now (the other week, being taught online). Timo’s schooling is unaffected because they’ve tried to keep all primary & secondary school children in school full-time, allowing the parents to work (to encourage the economy) and allowing kids to maintain a semblance of normality (for their social good).
Another Day of Remembrance
Today marks the 5th anniversary of the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris. Coming only two days after November 11th Armistice commemorations, it makes for two heavily weighted, solemn occasions in one week.
That was our first year here and I remember waking up the next morning to numerous text messages asking if we were OK or affected in any way.
Our local city hall has been adorned in the colours of the French flag of late. I saw it on my walk downtown the other night, while waiting for Dominic to arrive and took this picture. Lit up, and with the fountains rat-a-tat-tatting out front, it’s even more beautiful. It just seemed appropriate to share that picture today.
The November 13th attacks weren’t on the same scale as the September 11th attacks in America, but it had a similar impact on French psyche. An almost invisible enemy had struck the heart of the nation.
You can see an army advancing, but not individuals or small groups. This makes prevention/protection more difficult and anxiety more prevalent.
As a result of global media and hashtags like #PrayforFrance, #PrayforNice, #PrayforVienna, #Prayfor_______, we’re bombarded: (a) with catastrophes and (b) will calls to emotionally invest ourselves (whether through prayer, worry, concern, etc.).
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to keep up and find myself emotionally exhausted.
(Honestly, it’s like the US Election. It’s a traumatic event in the life of what was, for my whole life, a model of political stability & reliability and because of its global influence [“When the USA sneezes, the whole world gets a cold”] the perpetual broadcast of this trauma is virtually inescapable.)
We are surrounded by Trauma. Whether ‘in the moment’ (with the #Prayfor___ hashtags), or in the aftermath (with the days of remembrance), we are constantly called to be in a state of emotional alertness.
By definition…. that is STRESS.
Good News from Bad Memories
As Christians, the amount of trauma & stress around us shouldn’t come as a surprise (but it does)…
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I’d encourage you to read the full chapter of John 16; this verse comes at the end. Early in the chapter, the disciples were grieving the fact of Jesus’ coming departure. Consider how Jesus responded to their grief:
I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
John 16.7 (Amplified version)
Here’s the good news from Bad Memories. The Holy Spirit is still our:
– Strengthener &
Find out more about the experience of the Holy Spirit by reading the first few chapters of the book of Acts… it’s more than you might think.
Thanks for stopping by
God bless you today!