Generational Trauma

Our prayers break on God like waves,
And He an endless shore,
And when the seas evaporate
And oceans are no more
And cries are carried on the wind
God hears and answers every sound
As he has done before.
Our troubles eat at God like nails.
He feels the gnaw of pain
On souls and bodies. He never fails
But reassures He’ll heal again,
Again, again and yet again.
Luci Shaw
The Bible in a few places speaks about the sins and the pain of one generation being ‘visited’ on future generations. I do not believe this is about divine punishment, but more a factual statement of what can happen when our suffering is not transformed. Where there is trauma of any kind, the effects are likely to be felt by the children and even the children’s children.
Generational trauma can occur where we carry, sometimes unknowingly, the suffering of our ancestors. Any suffering that is not released and transformed can be transmitted to others. Where we can get in touch with the suffering we have inherited and can do the work to understand it, compassion can rise in us and the cycle of pain interrupted.
Christians don’t believe in a God that intervened in history 2000 years ago and then left the world to its own violence and sorrow. The message of the incarnation is that Christ is with us and in us, continuing to teach and to heal, guiding us to understand the message of our pain. Jesus continues to save and set us free. Through the Spirit’s presence, love is always being born anew in the world and in the Church and within ourselves. We cannot exhaust this love or cut ourselves off from its healing power which never fails to return again, again, and yet again.
Grace and peace,