If you were to ask my sister what she wants most in life, she would likely tell you she would like to raise the dead. Seriously. I can’t think of a more worthy desire than that can you?
But my sister believes she has been unable to raise the dead. Now, no matter your faith origin, you have to admit that raising the dead is up there in the category of mythology with all the super heroes. She is not a myth, so she does not raise the dead.
She is wrong. And I am going to explain why…
This blog is not generally where I write about mental health topics, mainly my misadventures with mental illness. I have another blog where I write specifically about mental health. This blog is about my faith and what I learn about my walk with the Creator. I keep them separate because I have two different audiences I serve, but here is the rub…
I fully believe that I am resilient after edging on three decades of hard core battle with mental illness because of hope, and I cannot sustain hope when I’m sitting on the metaphorical (or literal) edge. I can’t purchase it, and I can’t fabricate it. Yet hope is what lifts me to my feet when I am down. Where do I get it then?
I get it from God. His brand of hope is best.
Those of us who are “entertaining” mental illness have had encounters with the psychiatric community. The United States has high stats for mental illness and abysmal treatment by comparison. There are just too many holes in a model that perpetuates relapse. So we and our loved ones are continually searching for effective treatments in the form of medicology and psychology.
Let me explain what it is like to encounter the need to be dead over and over until it is your normal. It is a dread that rolls in like fog. You can see it from a distance, and terror overtakes you as you are reminded that you will experience a hundred deaths before it is over, and if you manage to physically survive, you will have lost more than you had before it hit. You know this to be true, and you accept it.
It is one thing to experience a round of depression (and please don think I minimize such an experience), but it is quite another to experience the black nothingness of despair, disillusionment, and discouragement that hits because the chemicals are just not playing nice with one another. Over and over again.
There are two natural environmental things I can compare this experience to. One is standing in a large cave or enormous room in pitch black. The other is standing in the total white out of a blizzard. I have been in both, and if you have you will remember that the longer you stand in those two environments the more you lose your place, your equilibrium, your bearings. Panic sets in, because we are not made to not have our senses alert us to what is going on, and in the two scenarios I mentioned, the senses become heightened to the point of shutdown. This total loss of equilibrium is what it is like upon entering the black night of depression that leads ultimately to the loss of desire to live and the desperation that accompanies suicide.
My sister wants to raise the dead.
And she does.
Do you hear me, Jayme? This is a word for you. You are raising the dead every time you get on that phone or meet that person in crisis who is just d.o.n.e. done. Every time you intervene.
Just as Sarah’s womb was dead with no life, and God sent an angel to help “raise” it to life to sustain a life, you walk into that world every day, and you help raise the lives of those whose will to live is dead back to life. You bring them hope.
You have done it for me twice in 2016, and that is one year out of nearly 3 decades of mental illness for me.
You are raising the dead.
God is faithful. I know you didn’t need me to tell you that, but I know he wants me to tell you this, not only for me, but for those many many people who can’t thank you or won’t realize until much farther down the road what you have done for them.
The dry bones may have come to life in Ezekiel, but Jesus said in John that “you will do greater things.” You are not watching dry bones dance. You are reaching in and pulling people out of the dark.
You are raising the dead.
Thank you for working in crisis intervention. Thank you for being willing to go where few go and God has sent you. What you are doing is rippling out beyond where you can see.
Happy New Year. May you be blessed and encouraged as you continue in that very special vocation of life restoration.
I love you.