Tag Archives: encouragement

For One of the Least of These: Visiting Those Who are Sick

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:

Feeding Those Who Hunger for Love       Offering Living Water to Those Who Thirst

Welcoming the Stranger      Covering the Emotionally Naked and Vulnerable

Visiting Those In the Prison of Addiction


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.’”


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!

Part 3 Silence No More: Go from Voiceless to Heard by Overcoming Procrastination

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness, addiction, or abuse   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

I was reminded today how, when in crisis, our world seems so small. This is one reason it is important to reach out for support, and hear other perspectives.

Emotional struggles, mental illness, addiction, and abuse,  may lead to shame and silence.  Three obstacles stand in the way of finding your voice. 

False beliefs (part 1)  Fear of what might happen (part 2) and today’s third obstacle, round out this series. 

Obstacle # 3 :  Procrastination.

Putting anything off until tomorrow is the bane of students, entrepreneurs, and Monday mornings. We perceive an action as too hard, too painful, or not worth our time. Avoidance techniques like eating, drinking, and other substances and behavioral habits only make our situation worse. 

Silence has that effect as well. Speaking up and finding your voice is often a matter of self-motivation and self-encouragement. Part of finding your voice is discovering it within.  

Needed:  Motivation

You have your mind and right to make decisions. Take a logical inventory. What has silence already cost you? Familiar suffering is not superior to freedom. List what you have tried that did not work, and what you have not tried that might work.

In cases of abuse, chances are you have tried denial, excusing the abuser’s behavior,  offering forgiveness and multiple chances,  walking on eggshells,  and perhaps even questioning the value of your life. Silence has not protected you emotionally or physically. 

In addiction, likely you have tried cold-turkey, “final decisions”, denial, independence, and a sense of control. Silence has not led you to health. 

Untreated or under treated mental illness or emotional challenges have left you with self-disgust and a sense of failure.  Perhaps you have lost friends, work, or home. Denial has helped you cope. Silence has prevented you from a positive solution. 

Is this what you want?  

Needed:  Encourage Yourself

Rah-rahs help sometimes. Positive thoughts may give us some courage. However, there are there more practical ways to build your chances for a better future.

If past efforts at speaking up did not end the way you want, go back to part 2 of this series and study your options.  Did a therapist or psychiatrist not work out well? Learn what to realistically expect, and try someone different if you must. Did you not follow expert advice? Go back with a teachable attitude.

Learn from others to escape the tapes stuck on replay in your head. Listen to first-hand experiences.  Many past victims of abuse escape saying, “I should have done this sooner,” or “I waited too long.”  Testimonies of recovery repeatedly press the point, “You have to admit you are powerless.”  For me, overcoming major depression and suicidal thinking took a deliberate decision to discover what enjoying life means.

Your voice counts because (insert your name) matters. You matter to the One True God, his Son Jesus, and to those good people in your sphere. You matter to the world because your success gives the rest of us hope.  You really are loved.

Challenge your false beliefs,  reach out for support, and do not put it off. 

Be heard. Be free.

 Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 31:7 –  song to Yahweh

I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
    for you have seen my troubles,
    and you care about the anguish of my soul.


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or 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.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

Pics: Climbers top by AYLA87; Raised hands  by LUSI ,  both of rgbstock.com