I know all too well the realities of the stigma that comes with mental illness. I am the daughter of a woman who daily lives with a mental illness. Ever since I can remember, I witnessed how my mom was treated because of the stigma associated with the illness. In fact, I was so overcome with the way people treated my mom that I kept our story locked deep in the depths of my heart. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I finally unlocked this piece of my heart and our story.
In fact, it wasn’t until my first summer working at a Bible camp that I realized how important it was for me to tell my story. That I would have to put aside my own fear and not let the stigma overtake me. I had to stand up for my mom and all who daily struggle with a mental illness. And to this day, this is a promise I fight to uphold each and every day.
Stigma has a way of making the world think these people are not safe, that they are unclean and that they don’t deserve to live peacefully. In fact, too often mental illness is used as a false prophet in this broken world as more times than I care to admit mental illness is defined as the victimizer and not the victim. Yet the truth is that these individuals are beloved children of God. They deserve to live peacefully and to live in harmony with the world.
In our Acts text today, the words from Acts 11: 9 remind us how God redeems and restores all the world. “But a second time, the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.'”
So my friends, will you stand up with me? Will you use your lips, ears, and eyes to proclaim that God’s love is for all? Will you break down the walls of injustice and hatred? Will you remind the world that all of us are beloved–beloved children of God called to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly” together” as we silence the hatred, war, and injustices of this broken world?
For in silencing the injustices we proclaim in the promises given to us through the life-giving water; that only Christ gives. This water that redeems and restores all in this broken world.
I am linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup and Jennifer and Tell His Story.