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A Safe Space?

B/c many Evangelicals get their cues from Fox News, the idea of “Safe Space” has come up a lot over past days with a lot of people dismissing, scoffing, & mocking the idea as I have used it in relation to spiritual trauma. Let me talk about it a little deeper.
2. Recently, within more progressive/liberal spaces such as university campus’ there has been a rise in folks borrowing trauma language to describe things that are not trauma related.

Triggered or triggering
Safe Space
When it comes to the idea of a safe space, these university campus’ have generally used the term to speak of an environment where students can speak their minds & share their feelings w/o having to worry abt anyone disagreeing with them. The space is “safe” from disagreement.
4. In trauma work, this isn’t what the term means at all. The term “safe space” means a space or an environment where one can dwell w/o believing their very well-being is threatened on a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual level. Not in superficial way, but foundationally.
A restroom should be a “safe space” for a women.

A school should be a safe space for children.

A marriage should be a safe space for a bride.

A family should be a safe space for a child.

In these spaces, these people should not feel well being threatened.
6. As we get deeper & more complex, we begin looking at dynamics of racial trauma and spiritual trauma and we can add categories.

School should be a “safe space” for a black child & not a place that threatens his mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual well being for example.
7. Dig deeper. A victim of spiritual abuse should find a church to be a safe place for them. A place where they do not feel like their mental, emotional, physical, & definitely spiritual well being is being threatened; on a fundamental level.
Now, let’s put pieces together. A black person who has experienced raced based trauma due to racial bigotry or indifference should seek to dwell in spaces where they feel “safe” from further assault on their mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual well-being.
9. A woman who has trauma due to sexual abuse should seek to dwell in places that are safe for her from further assault on her mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well being and flourishing.

When trauma counselors think of “safe spaces” this is what we are thinking about.
We are thinking about helping trauma victims flourish and be in environments, as much as they can help it, that do not continue to traumatized them. Leaving them emotionally, psychologically, physically, or spiritually wounded and essentially disabled....
11. Christians who mock “safe spaces” are demonstrating profound apathy and lovelessness and are not expressing a sense of compassion and love for their brothers & sisters who are living with the haunting pain of trauma & distress. It’s sad it happens so often...
So, here’s the thing. There are a multitude of churches that do not understand the dynamics of trauma and do not seek to have their churches operate as “safe spaces” for Christians who have endured trauma, will either cause further traumatic pain & not Minister to the wounded
Churches MUST become better equipped to understand to caring for traumatized sheep. Churches MUST be a “safe space” for the traumatized, a refuge for them and not a place that triggers their profound psychological, emotional, or spiritual pain. They must.
Churches that don’t understand what it means to be a “safe space” for trauma victims will inevitably be churches that deepen wounds instead of help heal them. Same applies to individual Christians. Also, Scoffing or mocking the challenges trauma victims face is lovelessness.
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