It’s been awhile, huh?
Such is the nature of mental illness, or any chronic illness really.
To most of society, dropping off the map isn’t acceptable. But illness doesn’t care about what society thinks. Plans, hopes, and habits collapse when illness takes hold. Consuming all time, all focus, and all energy, it leaves no room for anything else. Everything becomes bent on the long climb away from illness, back to functional, back to feeling okay. Yet such summits provide no security. I cannot tell when the ground will crumble again. I only know, with illness, it’s a matter of “when,” not “if.” Being off the map is a fact of life; this is our normal, for Mr. B. and I. Sometimes society understands; sometimes it doesn’t.
I’m glad that God doesn’t think anything of being off the map. Sometimes, He takes our lives that way on purpose! Yet, His plans are always good, full of His love for us, on the map or off.
Mental illness is ugly.
Don’t get me wrong. People with mental illness are wonderful, beautiful fascinating human beings worthy of respect and dignity.
But mental illness, when it manifests, is ugly. It’s ugly the way death is ugly, the way sin is ugly. If you’ve ever been to a funeral of a family member or a friend, you know. No attempts to pretty it up or make it easier do any good. Death is profoundly unnatural, as something not intended for this creation. It’s a vandal’s mar on the canvas of a skilled painter. So it is with mental illness, with any sickness really.
In the face of such ugliness, I’m glad Jesus is coming back to fix it all.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev 21:4-5)