There was an experiment conducted within a medical practice. It was simple. A patient would come in for evaluation for a physical ailment. They would get a survey and on this survey they would be asked a series of questions, among them, “Did you experience a childhood trauma?”
If a patient had marked they had, during the next visit the doctor gave the patient an opportunity to share what that trauma was. 
“I noticed in our survey you mentioned you had experienced a childhood trauma. Would you like to tell me what happened?”
The majority of patients did name what they had experienced, many realizing it was the first time they had said something to anyone else. Some shared a more full story, others stated only simple facts. The doctors were instructed to respond with, “I’m sorry that happened to you – it shouldn’t have.” Others declines the invitation to discuss their trauma.
There were other questions and comments that followed, and the experiment was testing how each patient’s health unfolded as they moved forward with their appointments, recording the difference between those that shared or named their childhood trauma, compared to those that marked they had an experience but declined to discuss it with the doctors. Long study short, those that shared had a 38% better chance of not only a rapid, but full recovery from the majority of ailments. But it’s actually just a statement I want to highlight for us.
I’m sorry that happened to you – it shouldn’t have.
There are several layers to the findings of that study – the value in confession, the impact of childhood trauma on adult health, the degrees to which participants shared. But that statement alone seemed so simple to me, and so valuable.
As a pastor I get to hear so many stories, and it’s a beautiful part of my job, but my personality has a downfall, my natural response is to solve to fix any problems I perceive in the stories I hear, when honestly, when people share difficult experiences, I should probably start with, and sit for a while with, “I’m sorry that happened to you – it shouldn’t have.”
Sin is sin. I know we don’t always like that word, but we miss the mark often, and I’m not sure we benefit from calling it something else. And when we are sinned against by someone else, it’s still also sin. And regardless of all the tangential why’s and how’s and but-what-about’s, it probably shouldn’t have happened to you. And I’m sorry that happened to you.
Anyone need to hear that sometimes?
I’m sorry that happened to you – it shouldn’t have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *