Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
My four year-old son Jonathan (Jon), was excited when he was asked to say grace just before dinner. We were at a restaurant with extended family members and Jon was beaming, thinking himself one of the grownups. Surprisingly, he asked everyone to hold hands and bow their heads so he could say grace.
“Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies .” Explosions of laughter circled the table. Jon was congratulated for his prank.
I was asked to say grace in public once. My sense of humor proves Jon and I are related. With everyone’s heads bowed, I reinterpreted an old poem. “God, please bless these vittles. May they add to your glory and not to our middles!” That was a hit. Then we prayed for real.
Prayer is just talking to God and listening for his wisdom. Why not tell him everything? (He knows it already anyway.) Spiritual and mental health depend in part on having someone to talk to.
Since my job is at home, and my sons have lives 8 hours away, isolation is a common reality for me. However, I can reach out and engage with friends, people at the store, the waiter where I stop for a bite to eat, the man who fills my car with gasoline, and anyone who crosses my path.
More significant is the privilege of an audience with the Almighty God.
No matter how our major depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness is manifesting, we can talk to God. Sometimes finding the words for prayer is deeply challenging. This is when all I can muster is, “help me.”
And that has always been enough. God meets with me and inspires hope.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or 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.
– pictures from qualitystockphotos.com