Psalm 91:4-6 can guide our imagination as we prepare our hearts:
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Not fearing terror noticeably is a result of finding refuge and NOT something that just happens naturally to all "true believers," as some well-meaning, but ill-conceived spiritual advice may suggest. Naturally, humans respond to terror with fear, and fear is likely to touch us at times as we walk through the perils of this season. However, as we attend to the mitigating possibilities outlined in verse 4, the "curve of fear" literally will be "flattened," so that we are able to face terror without being overcome.
Notice the imaginative language of gentle touch and physical assurance: Covered by his feathers, under his wings, and the unchangeable goodness of God as protective shield and wall. (Seems like God knows neurobiology..:)
1. Can you try imagine the gentle touch of strong wings (maybe think about eagle's wings) that cover you, provide protection from view, and provide warmth? Try to take your time and notice some details about what it is like to slip into this imagination (contemplation). How does your body now feel as you imagine this?
2. Can you try imagine touching the shield of God's unchanging love and being-for-you, and touching the firmness of the protecting wall? Take strong hold of that shield and feel it firmly in your hand, and touch the wall, feel it's sturdiness and roughness, maybe lean against it, and feel how it holds. Take your time and notice details about sensations in your hands and in your body and soul.
3. And later, when you have just heard or witnessed something terrifying, can you shift away from the images and physical feelings of the situation that draw you in, and refocus your attention on slipping under his wings, and pressing against the protection wall. In real life in the hospital, maybe literally press against a wall with your hand or your body, grounding yourself in the reality that your being is protected and anchored in the one who loves and protects.
Involving body sensations in helping us hold on to spiritual realities is literally a biblical recommendation (verse 4), and practicing taking refuge physically in these eternal realities before the terror of the night or the arrow that flies by day actually hits, is just plane wisdom....flattening the curve...making the impact something we can live with....giving us confidence that we will not...nor...nor...nor (verse 5+6).