The prophet Habakkuk prays. Asks God to return from being absent. “In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known;” (3:2b) Followed by acclamation. “His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.” (3:3b)
God’s portrayal in Habakkuk’s prayer is often violent. God’s earthly activities ongoing. “…You split the earth with rivers.” (3:9b) A omnipotent superpower saving good guys from bad ones. “You crushed the head of the wicked house…” (3:13b)
Habakkuk’s words reveal multiple tragedies. Agitation anticipating next impending crushing. More devastation means wiping out enemies and attackers. Perhaps Habakkuk hopes he does not get caught in the ensuing panic.
“I hear, and I tremble within: my lips quiver at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones, and my steps tremble beneath me. I wait quietly for the day of calamity to come upon the people who attack us.” (3: 16)
We in trauma wait for the next catastrophe like the prophet Habakkuk. From the outside we may look still. Barely breathing. Within we stand at the edge of an interior precipice. Waiting. For a push into caverns below. Thrust in by world’s cruelty. Found in the form of people, natural disasters, human made dictators, wars, and diseases. Uncontrollable foes attacking us or our loved ones.
We wait. Trembling within. Watching. Always alert. Skittish. Wary. No breaks. Exhausted by constant effort. Rotting in this hidden prison. Body held captive by what grows within us. Dictating our lives. Holding our bodies hostage. Trepidation becoming an angry energy like fuel.
Look at your hands. Curve them in as if your hands hold something. Feel the weight of your hands. Observe the shape of curved fingers. The creases in your palms. Notice any scars, rings, tattoos.
Now cup your hands together. Allowing fingers and sides of upturned palms to touch. Forming a bowl.
Breathe in. Sigh out into your bowl. Repeat forming a steady beat of breathing in and breathing out with a sigh, silent or sung. Continue on if it feels good to you to do so.
Breath in again. This time on your next sighing, send your traumas into the bowl. Any trauma you hold in your body. Recent traumas. Trauma from a few years ago. Older traumas from youth and childhood. Sigh all your life’s traumas into your cupped hands.
Lift your cupped hands up above your head. As far into the air above as you are able.
God, take these harms from me this day.
And all the days to come. Amen.
Push your hands farther up into the sky beyond. Open your hands with a final push. Send your traumas out into the world. When your hands are empty, slowly let your arms fall to your sides. For now, leave your traumas to the universe and to God.
*This healing meditation is created to accompany trauma recovery along side working with a state licensed, certified trauma mental health professional and should not take the place of clinical healing.
**Please form this healing activity to fit your needs. And please share with me your creative ways of refining the experience for yourself. Some humble accommodation suggestions are:
- Use a bowl instead of hands.
- Use a friend’s arms.
- Use feet and legs instead of hands and arms.
- Move bowl outwards instead of upwards.
***All scripture quotes are NRSV.
****Photos courtesy of Pixabay.