By The Rev’d. Joseph K. Acton
“After the Trauma, The Battle Begins. Post Trauma Healing.”
Fr. Nigel Mumford has managed to provide a very helpful and unique kind of book called After the Trauma the Battle Begins: Post Trauma Healing. It is both a study and spiritual reflection on PTSD, providing both clinical and historical understanding of this condition. His book is timely in the wake of the Iraqi and Afghan war veterans returning home and our becoming more aware of the level of trauma with which they are dealing. After the Trauma is also a very personal reflection on Mumford’s own experience of trauma and subsequent healing. But perhaps what was most meaningful, was the way he has woven these themes together into a spiritual odyssey, providing insight into God’s wonderfully mysterious work of healing for all of us. It is a book not only for PTSD survivors and their loved ones, but for anyone who has experienced trauma, adversity, loss, fear and desires healing.
There is so much practical help in this book. He provides compassionate encouragement, not only to PTSD sufferers, but to over eaters, the depressed, the anxious, and the doubter. He speaks eloquently of the way words can become “grenades” and illustrates various kinds of interpersonal “terrorism.” While the book speaks a great deal about war, it continues to apply spiritual principles to our own very personal everyday battles.
I am moved by the generosity of this book, as Mumford shares with us the discord and chaos of his personal life as a traumatized Marine, his many near death experiences, and his own “Dark Night” of the soul. Issues of guilt, fear, regret, obsession, are all lifted up into the transforming presence of Christ. Each strand of story telling, each confessed failing, each practical answer, leads to what in the end could be called a Litany of Gratitude, for here is a man who has felt the pain of wounds and the joy of healing. His words clearly focuss the reader on the wounds of Christ, “by which we are healed.”
Finally the book speaks with the authority of a man who had been so close to death he had received last rites three times! Mumford has overcome death most recently by coming out of a coma and what was the final stage of the H1N1 virus. I, along with thousands of others, prayed for Mumford as we heard his condition was going from bad to worse. It is an incredible witness to all of us that today that Nigel Mumford lives and writes, speaks and heals in the name of Jesus. And so with the authority of a modern Lazarus, and the gentle compassion of a lover of Jesus and servant of the Gospel, Mumford has provided a must read for all of us who seek to overcome trauma and adversity, and live in the victory and power of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Fr. Nigel Mumford, for this wonderful book!
The Rev’d. Joseph K. Acton
Desert Call Ministries, Inc.
Pastor, ACTS Church Hemet, CA