I am evangelical, a former pastor, and a Bible college instructor. I also have bipolar depression, and a bit of paranoia and delusional thinking. I have been hospitalized in mental hospitals seven times in 10 years. But, I love Jesus more than anything. And I’ve been told by many who repeatedly insist that He loves me as well.
I have experienced the darkest and most crippling depressions. There are some weeks (months?) I could not get out of bed, shower or even eat. For this Bipolar, I must take Lithium, Zoloft, and Lamictal. These meds hold me in place. I’m being treated for a seizure disorder, and have had surgery to remove a tumor in my brain. I now walk with a cane.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
1 Corinthians 1:3
This blog is geared for the mentally ill believer, the terminally ill, habitual sinners and all who are confused and dismayed by their own brokenness. But you don’t need a diagnosis to read this blog.
It seems like failures—
- the mentally feeble,
- chronically ill
- blind, and deaf
- sinners, great and small
- and mentally ill have not always been welcome in the Church. I think that is about to change.
I’m honestly convinced that it has been the churches’ loss. How is the Church ever going to learn to love the unlovely without us to ‘train’ them? We the disabled are sprinkled into each fellowship to tutor them through our illnesses.
The church need not look to new ‘fund raising ideas’ or to pave the parking lot, it just needs to reach out to the broken– one at a time. I think God will bless every church who will do this. This is the work and passion of Jesus. This is what Jesus’ church looks like. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10.)
The Church needs us, whether it realizes it or not. It is as broken people that we model our fallenness as the paradigm to intimacy with Jesus. We often are the first to know that it has never been about our giftedness, but our intimacy.
We are a witness, a tangled but tangible reminder, of how God’s grace gives His power to the weak and despised (2 Cor. 2).
“For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
I simply can not say anything more. Just please love us.
“The power of the Church is not a parade of flawless people, but of a flawless Christ who embraces our flaws. The Church is not made up of whole people, rather of the broken people who find wholeness in a Christ who was broken for us.”
All scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation.