Tuesday, December 21, 2010

mental health and Christmas

Those of us who have had, are having, or may have in the future, struggles with mental health issues; depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia and others, should never have to feel ashamed or fear seeking help and sharing our pain. An illness that is so prevalent and touches so many should never be denied or “swept under the carpet” of cultural stigma. And, the church, of all places, should lead the way for those who need healing, but even it too often fails.

It breaks my heart to see, to know of so much pain that goes unnoticed and the lack of real help and compassion because society/culture is afraid or indifferent to it. To hear the pain in the voices of those who are able, by some grace, to come to the point of expressing that pain, to find a safe place to be themselves . . . no masks, no pretense . . . to seek healing in the love and understanding of another.

Why do we refuse to heal one another?! For Christ’s sake we should be doing as he commanded, loving one another, healing one another, easing the pain, carrying the burden that cannot be carried alone. Lord have mercy on us, sinners in need of a Savior, and yet, ignoring You! Come Lord Jesus, make all things new, restore us and bring us into Your Kingdom! Come quickly Lord, we are desperate.

In this season of celebrating Your birth, do we truly seek You? The One who came in such humble circumstances to seek and save the lost. “Perfectly” dressed up for all the exuberant and glamorous celebrations, hiding pain and brokenness. The same pain and brokenness that you desire to break through, to heal and to restore us from, to make us new creations. May this Advent truly be a beginning for so many of us who suffer, may we celebrate Immanuel as the shepherds did in humility and as ourselves . . . naked of pretense and any sense of entitlement.

O come, o come Immanuel and ransom our captive hearts . . .

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