Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Christian Response to Mental Illness

I recently discussed the issue of mental illness among Christians with a friend who almost lost someone to suicide last week. Thinking about the topic led me to do a little research, and in the process I came across an old blog post by Ann Voskamp titled "What Christians Need to Know about Mental Health." Voskamp begins:

Dear Church,
Cancer can be deadly and so can depression.
So can the dark and the shame and the crush of a thousand skeletons, a thousand millstones, a thousand internal infernos.

Her words are heart-wrenching, lovely, and true. She continues, weaving her own story into a cry for Christ's heart in us towards the wounded. 

We won’t give you some cliche – but something to cling to — and that will mean our hands.
We won’t give you some platitudes — but someplace for your pain — and that will mean our time.
We won’t give you some excuses — but we’ll be some example — and that will mean bending down and washing your wounds. Wounds that we don’t understand, wounds that keep festering, that don’t heal, that down right stink — wounds that can never make us turn away.
Because we are the Body of the Wounded Healer and we are the people who believe the impossible — that wounds can be openings to the beauty in us.

If we love like Jesus does, how can we have any other response?

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