There are times when I crave the catharsis that can come of writing. Times when I wish the things I need to explore would be easily understood. Times when I wish straightforward answers and direction would flow from that place. But some things realy are just too raw, and too private, especially when the circles intersect with others' lives and I can't take the liberties of broaching realities that are not mine alone.
But I'll dabble, nonetheless.
Yesterday in church we had the most amazing presentation from two people in our community who recently lost their son to suicide. They have taken something absolutely undeniably evil and are using what's left of it for good by advocating for people with mental health issues, increasing awareness, bringing down stereotypes, engaging in fundraisers, and bringing useful resourses to those who are struggling with mental health issues and may not know where to turn with any of it.
It was powerful. Honest. Courageous.
It certainly resonated, as the tears rolling down my cheeks and down into my lap would attest to. I was so proud of these people for their courage. So proud of the who's who of my church who opened up our building and our hearts to what they had to offer. It wasn't all about confessing ones' sins and claiming healing at the cross. It was more comprehensive than that. Jesus heals. He did some of that when he walked the earth, and from what I hear, He does it still. But he didn't and doesn't heal everyone who ever asks. I can't say why. But I can say that pretending that faith is enough (I mean in the sense of saying "I'm healed, even though I still feel like killing myself, but I'm sure that I'm really not thinking that because I must be healed-- shockingly DENIAL-like...) ... is just plain crazy, in my opinion. I've seen way too many people suffer with their illnesses because of their unwillingness to involve the scientific, medical community. I have myself been told to "flush the pills, since you know the truth of Jesus' healing promises". Fortunately for me, I've walked this road long enough to know what to tune out for the sake of my own health.
Imagine our world if we would all go back to the commandment that wrapped them all up-- "Love one another; bear each others' burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ"; and "Love the Lord with your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself". Maybe spend way less time figuring out who is "right" and who is "wrong" and just hear one another out?
Someone I love a great deal struggles with mental issues that I too am familiar with. I wish it were as clear cut a diagnosis and treatment as diabetes or a broken arm- even a seizure disorder. Then I could write about it without wondering whether you the reader will misunderstand or bury us in your judgements. I could write without feeling protective. I could involve my Doctor and not worry about his apparent lack of compassion, or wonder about his personal opinions on the matter. I could assume that the approach would be holistic- we would involve the Great Physician without assuming that pharmaceuticals would be a failure. I could speak of my love for the suffering with the same ease which I can assume when discussing Sam's seizure disorder, my sister's migraines, or my brother's cancer.
Yesterday at church, the Stotts spoke of a day when we could wear t-shirts that say "I Survived Suicide" much as we now wear shirts that speak of surviving cancer. I'd like to imagine a world where such honesty would be embraced; where no shame would accompany it.
But for today I won't even risk an unedited blog post. We've got a long ways to go, and a lot of misconceptions to tear down. God give me the courage to be a small part of that.