Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Please imagine the following scenario:
Your fifth day in the hospital begins. It is yet another day of little sunshine, with many more to come. The brick wall of the laundry blocks your view. Cheer is missing too. Nurses and an occasional doctor come and go. Some are compassionate, others all business.
You hurt. Moving, even shifting in bed is difficult. Lunch is served, but you are not hungry. Soon it is time for therapy where others expect you to try harder to advance toward wholeness.
Few people know about this hospitalization because you find your reason for being here somewhat shameful. You are certain that most of your loved ones and friends will assume you brought it on yourself. They will say, “Why don’t you get it together? Make better choices!” You’re not in the mood to hear it. ♦♦♦
How do you react to this story? Do you sense why shame might be part of hospital admission? What do you assume is the health issue? It may surprise you that I am describing a motorcycle accident recovery and not a psychological problem.
Not everyone who is sick has a physical illness we can see. Some of us struggle or have struggled with brain injury, brain tumor or aneurism, mental illness, or even learning disabilities. None of these are visible, yet each deserves compassion.
Visiting the sick, specifically those with mental and behavioral disorders, is as simple as entering the hospital and walking to a person’s room. Yes, there may be locked doors and bars on the windows, but you are safe. Your loved one with depression (or any other mental health challenge) needs your encouragement and to know he or she is loved.
Know someone who could use a visit? Take with you tender loving care, a listening ear, patience, a smile, and prayer. That is all you need.
The For One of The Least of These series:
Today’s Helpful Word
Matthew 25: 37-40
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you … sick… and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers (and sisters), you did it to me.’”
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!