... in some training

Published on 24 May 2019
Two people writing on a whiteboard

I attended a training session at work today and found God there.

The training was about Psychological Informed Environments (PIE).  This is an initiative that is being developed and implemented in the homeless sector.

The presentation was made by a psychologist and an Occupational Therapist.  The theory is to understand the background of a lot of vulnerable people that come into services and to adjust the environment to meet their need.  Moving away from systems that are critical and punishing of behaviour toward one that understands that behavior is communication and that this is in fact a symptom relating to background trauma and that the person requires something greater.  PIE looks to create a space that is welcoming and understanding and that looks to eliminate things that may be triggering.  It looks to create an ambience that is comfortable and homey combined with an attitude of inclusion, equality and respect.

I thought of the way that we incarcerate people, how people are held in institutions, in holding centres etc. The very structure of these institutions itself create a tension and become a problem.  As the late Jean Vanier knew in his heart when he took over as the manager of the La Val Fleuri in the 1960's, itself an institution that resembled a prison, he lost the keys... and doors were locked no more and from this one change the environment changed from a prison to a home and people felt very differently.

I reflected on how in smaller ways we can break down those barriers and live PIE.  We can honour the dignity of every person we meet.  We can give time and encouragement to people that we meet who are overworked, who are begging, who are in need in whatever way.  There are so many different ways that we can think about how we are with others and how we can consider them and their background and how we can honour their dignity.

I was not in church and there were no gospel readings.  But today I heard "Love thy neighbour as thyself" loud and clear and I found God in this today.