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Emotional triggers

House Calls

Gerald W. Deas M.D., MPH | 7/3/2014, 12:10 p.m.
Dr. Gerald Deas

Emotional. Definition: Abandonment, forsaken, destitute, depleted, drained, exhausted, empty-headed.

“By starving emotions, we become humorless, rigid and stereotyped; by repressing them, we become literal, reformatory and holier than thou. Encouraged, they perfumed life; discouraged, they poison it.”—Joseph Collins, American neurologist, 1866-1950

“No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.”—George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), English novelist, 1819-1880

Trigger. Definition: Anything that sets off or initiates something else, such as violent movies, which have the potential to trigger juvenile delinquency. The small lever on the underside of a gun, which is pulled back by the finger to fire it.

I was taken by Winifred Gallagher’s description of “soul murder” in her book “Working on God,” when she quoted James Washington, professor of religion at both Union Theological and Columbia University: “When a person of a permanent underclass loses any apparent meaning or worth, results can be suicide, infanticide (killing babies), parricide (killing of parents), and even deicide (killing their God).” Once a person has been spiritually eviscerated, he says, “Without providence, there is no hope. The primary business of religion is to take away the pain. If a church doesn’t do that, shut the door. We get so weary as it pours in faster than we can shovel it. But once in a while, grace suddenly descends like a spaceship and we live for the next such moment.”

When Washington died, he was mourned throughout the city for 10 days at Union Seminary.

To sustain and maintain a sense of being, I must quote Matthew 10:28, “Don’t be afraid of those who can kill only your bodies but can’t touch your soul!” and Romans 12:9, “Don’t just pretend that you love others; really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. When God’s children are in need, you be the one to help them out and get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or if they need lodging for the night.”

In closing, I would like to share this hymn with you: