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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, August 5, 2013

Depression


In his earthly ministry, Jesus appears to have had a thing for the down and out people; the ones nobody else knew what to do with.  He regularly hung out with people who wore nasty little labels like sinner, and helped people who were often feared and even despised.  This second group of folks wore labels like leper, adulterer, and demon possessed.  Because Christianity understands Jesus to be the living reflection of the Divine Presence of God, we can clearly say that God still has a thing for these folks.  Further, if Christians are called to be the presence of Christ on earth, that means we need to have a thing for such people too.

In our day and society, one group of people who wear a label most of us don’t know what to do with are those who suffer from any one of several forms of mental illness.  There are many such people, and many different labels.  Perhaps the most common is depression.  Others may be identified as bi-polar.  Still others may be called delusional, addicted, neurotic or wear still more labels.   Often this leads to misunderstanding, unemployment, poverty and frequently homelessness.  Some people reading this post know this reality all too well because you wear these labels yourself, either publicly or hidden away deep inside where you hope no one sees.

The fact that most of us do not know how to help or what to say to people who struggle may make us prefer to avoid such folks.  Yet that is not the response we would expect from Jesus our mentor, is it?  In one of our congregations we recently came to realize that every new person we had come in contact with over the past year was suffering from some form of mental illness.  What can we do?  How do we respond?  One of our new friends had already been asked to leave his former church because of his illness.  That does not sound much like Jesus, does it?

The first thing we must recognize is that we do not know all the answers, and the second is that we can learn.  We already know how to listen to others without offering platitudes or advice.  We know how to express caring, and we know how to pray for or with others.  We can be a friend.  That, it seems to me, is a pretty good start.  Beyond that, we know how to ask for support from a pastor or minister whose sensitivity and caring we respect.  further, we know how to make referrals when needed.  Perhaps we are not so helpless after all.

The following is an excellent Ted Talk from a very articulate young person who suffers from depression.  It takes 11 minutes and 18 seconds to watch it. It is worth every second and I urge you to click here.  Then I invite you to come back to What's the Good Word and add your thoughts to the comments section of this post.

God bless.

Posted by Carman

2 comments:

  1. A courageous young man with a Christian message: we are stronger together than apart; being vulnerable is not a weakness but a strength; love and accept each other for who we really are.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Anonymous. We are stronger together, and are not helpless. I appreciate your response.

    ReplyDelete