Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
I watched a little two year-old girl running away from her father. She may have felt she was successful, but of course could have been easily caught. He watched patiently until she paused, not sure if going farther was a good idea.
Then she saw me. I was a few feet away and smiled. Her eyes grew wide- suddenly her world had a stranger in it! Without hesitation, she raced back to safety, never taking her eyes off me.
She didn’t have to check 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 daughters of some men experience disappointment. Maybe they are left to question whether their fathers will be there when needed for strength and support. Perhaps the girls (grown or not) know if they run back to their daddies for safety, hurt will be the result. The same is true for sons- Does dad love me? Is he proud of me? Can I trust him?
I was asked recently during a radio interview if I thought depression and potential suicide require a religious solution. The interviewer wanted to know if persons of any faith can use the strategies I am talking about to begin to feel better and have hope. He claimed my website implies one must be Christian in order to get well emotionally.
I am a Christian but do not intend to send the message that only people of my faith can recover from Major Depression. According to Jesus who is quoted in the book of John, no one comes to The Father (God) except by him (Jesus). He claimed to be the only eternal solution, the Saviour, our reason for forever hope.
As a two year-old, I wanted to believe my daddy was there for me. Now I know God as my “daddy.” Is believing this an instant cure to Major Depression? No! If it were, I would never struggle with mental illness.
Nonetheless, knowing that because of Jesus I have a clear running path to the One who will never disappoint, I can choose to allow my Heavenly Father to hold me when my world is full of scary strangers or darkness.
“Though your mother and father abandon you, I will lift you up.” – God, in Psalm 27:10
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.
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