He meant well. They shouldn’t spend much time together. She has a disorder–bipolar. I winced when I heard the words because he didn’t know about us. We understand the stigma…the struggle…the pain swelling on the inside–but still unseen.
Church….Christian…Pastor–there is already shame poured hot like coal on the one who suffers from the burden of festering pain. And the one in six people in your midst clutches her own secret close to her chest–afraid to let you see her brokenness. Or, perhaps, she fears revealing the truth about a husband or a child. If she did would you whisper, “He’s depressed. Maybe your daughter shouldn’t spend time with him.” Would you judge her? If she believed more…prayed more…trusted more then God would heal the wound.
So when a friend condemns anti-depressants as a crutch but implores the Hurting to pray for faith, there is a problem in the Body because the Jesus I know came to heal the sick. The Jesus I know came to remove the burden of a fallen world from the shoulders of those bent beneath its weight. And the Jesus I know understands that mental illness is like any other–You, dear one, didn’t cause it.
There is no guilt in your struggle, dear one, just as there is no guilt with the one who has cancer. Church, the one in six ask you to be Jesus today.
Speak truth. The Church is the place for the suffering.
Love like Christ. It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
Give grace. The nails in the tree set us free from the wounds of this world. Our Today’s are for His glory.
And it is by grace we are saved!