Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
I watched a little two-year-old girl running from her father. After about a dozen feet she paused, uncertain if going farther was a good idea. He waited patiently, protective, aware of her surroundings.
In her perceived independence, she had the confidence of one who felt that no matter what she chose to do, her father was nearby. She trusted her daddy.
Then she saw me. I smiled and her eyes grew wide. Suddenly her world had a stranger in it! Without hesitation, she raced back to safety, warily keeping her eyes on me as she ran past.
She didn’t have to see if he was there. She didn’t have to ask him to be there. He was just there, she knew it, and when she reached him, she understood it was his arms picking her up.
The children of some men experience disappointment. They may be left to question whether their fathers will be there when needed for strength and support. Perhaps the adult child knows if they run back to their dads for safety, pain will result. The same question is asked by every heart – Does daddy love me? Is he proud of me? Can I trust him?
I am a Christian but in this advocacy ministry, do not intend to send the message that only people of my faith recover from mental health challenges. Many strategies can lead to mental wellness and emotional stability.
Nonetheless, according to Jesus as quoted in the book of John, no one comes to Father God except through him, God’s Son. He claimed to be the only eternal solution, our Savior, the means to forever love and hope.
Faith in Jesus has made a clear running path for me to God, the Father who never disappoints. There is no need to double-check. The Almighty lifts me up when the world is full of scary strangers or disappointing dads.
“Though your mother and father abandon you, I will lift you up.” – God, in Psalm 27:10
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.
*picture from qualitystockphotos