for those who don't want to just wait it out

like the song says this is a blog for someone who wants to say something (anything) and who's happy to wait and see what time will bring...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Am I Losing My Mind?

Well, at least that's what's been scrolling through my head the last few nights when insomnia has apparently decided to kick in and I can't get to sleep anywhere before 2.30... it is soooo annoying and inconvenient right now. No amount of gym/afternoon runs are seeming to wear me out, so I'm back into reading the Chronicles of Narnia (which is great but maybe over-stimulating my imagination as I head to bed?) and using the remaining late hours to do some more reflecting. Here's one stream of thought for you:

Going to church on Sunday night was a bit of a revelating experience. Having not been there for 5 weeks, I was really looking forward to seeing everyone and, as I was walking up to the building, I had the words and thoughts of Bonhoeffer running through my mind about what it means to fellowship and share with one another through everything.

That night we looked at Psalm 42 and 43 and it got me thinking... One thing that Andrew Graham kept coming back to, was what does it mean to be 'down' - to feel that urgent desire to come into God's presence and have Him lift us up out of the depths. Having loved and lived with people with a variety of mental illnesses over the years, I'm pretty familiar with people longing for feelings of wholeness, or to have a better grasp on reality. It's hard and there's often such a stigma with not quite 'having it all together'. Especially for Christians - after all, shouldn't they just be able to trust God? (or so the line of thinking goes).

The answer, as far as I can tell, is just never as simple as that. But what I do question is this; how is it that we support those (either in our immediate church communities or on the outskirts) who need it the most? What kind of perceptions or preconceived notions do we have and how does that reflect the ways in which we actively care for one another?

Many years ago, I lived in the country at 'Cornerstone' - a Christian community based in rural NSW. While there, I got a better understanding about what it means to live with illnesses such as depression or bipolar (to name just a couple). More than that though, I got a lesson in what it means to live with these things, and others, with transparency. What it meant to bear with each other and support each other through the good, the bad and the ugly in a way that, quite frankly, I don't see many of our Christian communities doing so well at the moment.

But what is that really about? Although it could easily be the case for some people, I don't actually think it's about our unwillingness to bear each others burdens. But rather, could it be about the vulnerability that comes when you open yourself up to asking someone how they are really going in life - because you have to be able to take a pretty hard look at your own?

Having just spent a few weeks reading through what an ideal "Life Together" could look like, I can't help but think that, as a Christian community, we're often overlooking living transparently with one another as a key aspect to our fellowship. Why do you think this is? What would you need to be in place in your own life or church community to be more transparent with people?


  • At 3:53 pm, Blogger jodi said…

    PS - I woke up this morning to a couple of concerned emails. That's very sweet and touching and so for the record, no, I don't actually think I'm losing my mind (it was just a title) and I'm just putting out there a continuation of my thinking from the sermon on Sunday night.

    After all - the sermon isn't just for Sunday's is it?


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