By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3 (NIV)
In 2005, BeBe Moore Campbell’s book, “72 Hour Hold” was published. I read it shortly before Ms Campbell passed away in 2006. It was a powerful and emotional story of a mother trying to cope with an 18 year old daughter who has bi-polar disorder. It is the only book I read by this author that I did not really enjoy. In all fairness to Ms Campbell It wasn’t the book, it was me. Her writing style and storytelling abilities were flawless, as usual, but I just couldn’t get all the way into it. The story eventually slid into the ‘useless information’ compartment of my mind.
Mental illness is something I have always had a tendency to sort of gloss over. I acknowledge it exists, but I’ve never had any desire to become intimately acquainted with it. Not because I don’t care. I do. I think it has more to do with the fact that knowledge requires action. And I don’t know what to do.
I can recall watching a television program years ago (it was probably one of those documentaries) about people who cut themselves. Not the ones who are attempting suicide by cutting their wrist, but people – mostly young girls – who make cuts on their arms and legs, bellies etc. This show was an eye opening experience for me because I’d never heard of ‘cutting.’ It’s hard for me to imagine anyone taking a knife to themselves.
I remember feeling sorry for them and I probably offered up a small prayer. Something like, “Dear Lord, please help these people, in Jesus name. Amen” Then I went on with my life and the program slid right beside Ms Campbell’s book, in the ‘useless information’ compartment.
Until last week.
A young woman who is near and dear to my heart has been riding the devastating, emotional, bi-polar roller coaster for a while now. Last week, she cut herself. Deep, painful, angry, sad cuts. She thought they would ease her pain. They didn’t.
And I still don’t know what to do – except pray.