Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
If you were an older teenager or adult in 2001, you likely remember newscasts using ticker tape banners at the bottom of your screen only occasionally. These would catch our immediate attention because they were reserved for more urgent updates. Now they are meaningless except to fuel obsession.
Gone are the days when a TV journalist is named “Most Trusted.” From talk shows for exploiting the worst of human nature, to roundtable talk shows where all opinions are welcome except those that other hosts do not like, televised conversation has become largely tabloid and empty of critical thought.
Social media has taken gossip, hearsay, and the mob mentality to new lows. One used to have to buy this junk, now we have to exert effort to steer away of the ugliness.
Meanwhile, fear mounts. World and national events, most announced in a made-you-look style, have us wondering if safety exists. We see problems in our schools, churches, and homes and want to place blame. We await a solution to all this chaos.
Can we have some good news, please?
History and present daily facts prove that governments will not save us. Science will not come to the rescue. Tolerance will not abolish hate. Education will not change our course. Religion will not free us. Self-knowledge will not give peace. All these have their positive roles in the turning of the world, yet none are permanent. All are like shifting sand in a storm.
And the storm is here, isn’t it?
This is when biased people (some well-meaning and afraid) find audiences of eager and desperate followers leaning in to hear hope. These are cases of the blind leading the blind. Fake news comes from both deceived and deceivers. Beautiful, influential, and seemingly good people can deliver falsehood on purpose or not.
Naturally, crooked people also seek and gather vulnerable disciples when times seem frightening. Outright lying for any number of excuses is a way of life for rich and poor.
We need to know how to recognize the truth. That is why two steps are important for understanding when hope is real.
- Live in complete honesty.
- Look at the long-term, historical, witnessed evidence
It may amaze some readers (it shocked me when I learned it) that when Jesus was born, and when he preached, died, and resurrected, his life was followed by the most vast collection of written evidence than any other human or story. Over 5000 original manuscripts (or pieces of manuscript) exist to support this, some by eyewitnesses only decades after the incident(s) they describe.
Homer’s Iliad has the second most original manuscripts in existence, over one thousand, the earliest of which was not recorded until at least 100 years had passed. Proof of Julius Caesar’s reign has fewer sources and no eyewitness accounts. I could go on.
My point is not to argue proof. These facts might prompt you to consider learning more, and to ask questions that perhaps you have been taught to avoid.
Jesus is the only hope that has not moved or changed throughout history’s storms. (Yes, he is God, so existed before his human walk on earth). All his promises remain the same, and his guarantee of eternal life in heaven for those who accept him as Savior and Lord is valid.
In these scary times, I hold on to the Rock Jesus, who has promised to never let me go.
Today’s Helpful Word
“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from my 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.
*world news picture by JAYANTA32; cross picture by WEEWILLYD – both from rgbstock.com