Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

My Photo
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Faith and mental illness

"Brad" is a 65 year old guy who suffers terribly from his mental illness. He has recurring and persistent delusions that someone is trying to kill him. 

It's absolutely absurd, but it's as real to him as the computer screen in front of you right now. 

Imagine what it would be like if someone were REALLY trying to kill you. Your heart would pound, your palms would sweat, you would be on edge. Well, this is how Brad lives his life every moment of every day. He believes that a French actress, Audrey Tautou is actively trying to kill him. It's as real as real can be. At least to Brad. And totally absurd.

Yesterday,  Brad met with me for a simple quiet time of reading the lectionary readings for that Sunday. Various scripture passages are laid out over a three-year cycle, which follows the church calendar - Advent, Epiphany, Lent. This Sunday was Passion Sunday - the beginning of Holy Week for the western church. 

These words from Psalm 31 especially struck home:

For I hear many whispering,
    “Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
    and plot to take my life.
 But I trust in you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my God.”
  My times are in your hands. . . .

Brad gave me a knowing glance, and afterwards, remarked on it."That passage in the Psalms really spoke to me."  He was more calm.

Even in the midst of bad brain chemistry, I believe the knowledge that God is present, and brings relief to Brad. Our times are in his hands.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home