Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2013 Nancy Virden
A rare inspirational moment, another sour report, frightening prospects – whatever it may be, news abounds. The mix of happy and sad is unbalanced as negative so-called newsworthy stories raise ratings, careers, and cash.
Last week, an elderly woman won $590 million dollars in the lottery. A younger woman who is raising a family had kindly allowed the winner to step ahead of her in line before the ticket was purchased. Headlines read, It Doesn’t Pay to be Kind; and Woman Loses Millions by Being Kind. One reporter said, “It’s good to be nice except in the lottery line.”
Not only is his summation ridiculous (because the millions dollar ticket could have been anywhere), but it is a lost opportunity to display how one can be satisfied without having everything come easily.
Briefly seen on one newscast, the young mother said to her daughter, “It’s more important to be kind than rich.”
Now, that was newsworthy.
Other than having every other person walking past them saying, “Too bad” for a while, their lives will not change much. Surely it stings to come so close to watching all one’s financial worries disappear. No doubt challenges lay ahead to remind them how much simpler life could be if only. Some hesitancy to invite people ahead in line might occur, at least in brief thought. Still, I believe they will be okay.
What might okay look like? It is accepting life as-is, refusing bitterness and regret. We are okay when we choose to be, founded on the knowledge that in Christ we have the power to face whatever comes.
Okay is not:
- The absence of pain.
- Denial of what is real.
- Decided by anyone else.
- Knowing God has a plan and trusting that he has everyone’s best interests at heart.
- Understanding that failure does not stop progress.
- More than surviving for the sake of surviving. It looks for purpose in the pain.
- Believing this too will pass.
- Trusting you can hurt badly, even hurt every day, and still be loved by God.
- Accepting your innate value regardless of negative messages or emotional injury.
In this mindset, we can answer truthfully when asked, “How are you?”
“Thank God, I’m okay.”
NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.