** We had some technical dfficulties with this recording, but our team is awesome and salvaged some audio from a video recording that was happening in the back of teh room. It will sound a little far off.**
Trauma and abuse are words that are thrown around a lot these days.
If we aren't being traumatized by getting the wrong order at your local coffee shop than you're feeling that the person at the DMV counter was using abusive language.
The temptation when certain words are being over used is to roll your eyes hard when you hear them. While that posture makes sense, it doesn't mean that the concepts aren't helpful to explore. Maybe you need to understand it better for yourself, or maybe you need to understand it better for people that are close to you.
Certain systems are set up perfectly to produce abusive or traumatic experiences. This doesn't mean that they always create abuse and trauma, but it does mean that we have to be aware so that we can be involved in healthy ways. Systems with significant relational connections and an imbalance of power are places where abuse and trauma can happen. Throw in relationship with the all-powerful and all-seeing God of the universe and you could see how people could be profoundly hurt if it was used against them instead of for them.
Almost no one creates abusive or traumatic systems by choice. Believing that you aren't an abuser doesn't serve any purpose other than making yourself feel better. We want to lean in to the reality that church can be an abusive or traumatic experience so that we don't become that.
These concepts aren't ours, but directly the words of Jesus and clearly linked to the few times he showed anger in all the Bible.