Rick Warren, Mental Illness and the Broken Heart–Why no family should ever have to go it alone.

spring time

It’s spring. Finally.

Believe it or not, the sun has started shining in rainy B.C.  I’m walking my dog in the fields behind the bible college most every day.  Kids ride their bikes around the neighborhood in the early evening light.

Good times.

But, not for everyone.

Last Saturday, Rick Warren lost his son. After years of struggling with mental illness, a much loved young man took his own life.

“This is going to change the way people see his ministry,” someone said to me.

“That’s what happens when prominent christian leaders get too involved in so many things,” someone else commented on a social media site.

I’d like to say that it’s human nature to try to figure out what goes wrong in certain situations. I’d like to say say that people are just searching for the reason someone else suffered so that they can avoid making the same mistake themselves.

But, I’d be incorrect.

It’s not human nature. It’s a lack of faith and compassion that keeps us from doing what we should do from the get go- plunge into the darkness and become one with the wounded heart.

Instead, we spiritualize our frantic scramble to

  • label
  • and judge
  • and point fingers at circumstances

that shatter someone else’s world.

You would think that Christians would know better. We are, after all, followers of a suffering Christ.

Fact is, most of us are terrified to enter into the world of someone else’s pain.

The author of the book of Galatians wrote “Carry each other’s heavy loads. If you do, you will give the law of Christ its full meaning”.

I like that.

Reaching out, not to judge or criticize, but to lift the burden of the person struggling beside you.

Back to the Warren family.

I don’t know them but I can pray for them. In an act of spiritual solidarity,  I can show compassion to other families whose loved ones struggle with clinical depression. I can insist that we as a church make room for those who struggle in mind as well as those who struggle in other areas of their lives.

Bottom line – The world will know we are Christians when we refuse to let our brothers and sisters walk alone in the dark.

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One thought on “Rick Warren, Mental Illness and the Broken Heart–Why no family should ever have to go it alone.

  1. Losing a son is the saddest thing I can imagine. We cannot presume to know why this happened. You are absolutely right in saying that we need to have greater compassion.

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