“Do no be afraid,” said Jesus in Scripture. But that’s hard, isn’t it? Especially when we look at all of the turmoil around the subject of mental health today.
The story in Mark 5:1-20 showed how Jesus dealt with, and ultimately restored, a man with severe mental issues. There are many layers to that story, but at its center is a man chained and abandoned by society. They feared the man—but Jesus did not.
As I read this passage, as much as I believe Jesus came for that man, I wonder if maybe Mark is telling us that Jesus crossed the sea looking for this very town. Maybe Jesus came for that entire community. For us!
Jesus comes for us whenever we have silenced the conversation, when we are threatened by the unknown, when we have banished those we fear in silent places. And if Jesus had come just for that one man, he could have invited him to leave home and join him as a disciple. But Jesus tells that man to “Go and Tell.” To go back to his community, a community that needs to hear his story. A community that needs to face his pain, to learn to love and to be changed by the death and resurrection in their midst.
As we continue to be the body of Christ—let’s not be afraid to have the difficult conversations, especially when it comes to mental health. Let us ask in prayer that we may be the community that brings support, resources, and patience. Let’s pray for all those suffering anxiety, fear, depression, insecurity. Let’s pray that in us they will find God’s ultimate love. A love that binds up all wounds. A love that shows up regardless of the situation. A love that is fully present, embodying the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Loving God, Thank you for loving us where we are. We love you, too. Help us to be the community that you have called us to be. A community that offers support, love, and hope. Help us to keep our eyes on you. We pray this in your holy and mighty name. Amen.