The Marginalized Stranger by David Lee Chu Sarchet
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for him in the inn.” -Luke 2:6-7
Have you ever wondered how marginalized our Savior was when He was born into this world? I mean, He came into this world not as a rich ruler, but as a poor servant who was despised and rejected amongst the very humans He created. Yet, He still chose to show love towards the very people who hated Him. It is in this way that the Lord Jesus Christ can identify with the mentally ill community.
We Are The Marginalized Stranger
I say this because we too are marginalized in society. Studies have shown that the mentally ill make up over 50% of the population so you would think that we would be accepted. After all, mental illness is very common! However, we tend to be treated with disdain or ignored and unappreciated. I know for myself personally I have experienced everything from being ignored or downright disrespected to taken advantage of. All because of my Schizoaffective Disorder.
A lot of the times the disrespect came from the very people who professed to be Christians and the people who have shown me the most love, compassion, and understanding have been people whom we would consider to be the unregenerate. I know that I am not alone in my experience either because I have talked to countless other people who struggle with mental illness and they have also said that so many times the Body of Christ has hurt them because of their mental illness.
Even The Church
Sometimes even the pastor of a church will hold to harmful views on mental health. They will even preach at the pulpit these very harmful views too. It is because of these facts that so many mentally ill people choose to abstain from church altogether. Or they just do not talk about their mental health struggles. This should not be the case because the Church should be a place where people who have all kinds of struggles can come to a place where they find solace.
So many times we are good at showing love towards all different other types of communities such as the homeless, the drug addicts, prostitutes, single mothers, and many others, but when it comes to the mentally ill the Body of Christ tends to be horrible at loving and I say this to our shame! After all, we are supposed to be people who worship the Lord Jesus Christ who came to this earth in grace and truth.
Grace And Truth: But Grace First
I find it interesting how the Apostle John said that Jesus came with grace first instead of truth first. I believe that was intentional wording on his part and we are called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps which means we should show grace first and then give truth. So often we have this tendency to just speak truth without grace and that is how we end up severely hurting people who struggle with mental illness.
I believe that if we can get back into focusing on showing grace towards people instead of trying to shove truth into people then people will be more willing to hear about the Way, the Truth, and the Life and how through Jesus Christ they may have life abundantly. However, if we are going to reach people who struggle with mental illness with the Gospel then we must first start from a place of compassion and love. There is no other way…. Does Somebody Hear Her? By Casting Crowns
To Support the Christ-Centered Mental Health Ministry
For a one time donation to the Christ-Centered Mental Health Ministry
-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Mental Health Advocate and Christian Apologist
For 24 hour peer support
Please call the Christ-Centered Mental Health ministry line at 567-343-3727 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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