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In this season of Covid 19, it is not difficult to find ways to love one another, for the need to be loved, to experience love, to feel love are great?

The easiest way to show love is to self isolate, reduce interactions with others, keep our distance. Those who are volunteering at places which meet the needs of the elderly, the homeless, the disadvantaged. There are those who are donating money or goods to various causes.

“This is my commandment,
that you love one another 
as I have loved you.”
John 15:12

During this pandemic and our isolation from society, I have wondered about those, not dealing with Covid 19, but those dealing with an internal, virus-like condition. This condition attacks the mind. This condition can alter the individual’s ability to work, or parent, or study. It can alter their personality, habits, view of the world around them. It can create actions and reactions that are filled with misinterpretation, anger, sadness, doubt, lack of trust, hopelessness, even rage.

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” ― C.S. Lewis

Mental health issues are the invisible struggles of many in our society. Though the fallout of mental health struggles can be easily seen on the sketchier streets of most cities, where substance abuse is one of the symptoms, if we look more close to home, we might discover it’s presence as well.

Symptoms of struggling with mental health can be found in the struggles to look for or maintain a job … or addiction to work. Anger, passivity, apathy. Struggles with relationships resulting in isolation from loved ones or divorce. Sadness, depression or perfectionism. Struggles with their own behaviours, or the behaviours of others. Loneliness, isolation or a constantly filled calendar. Struggles with anxiety, causing an inability to act, withdrawing into themselves and planting a hedge of self protection all around … resulting in near-impossibility of penetration from the help of others.

Those struggling with their mental health need advocates. People who will step in and be their voice … even when they resist, reject and refuse such help. They need people who will dig their feet in the soil beside them, with teflon-like armour (for they may receive opposition to help … adamant denial of a problem … that may injure, deeply). They need people who are willing to go the distance, even if it means (temporarily) losing peace, in order to reach out for help from professionals

… and help from professional must be achieved for health to be restored. Who would not race to contact medical advise if a loved one presented symptoms of Covid 19? Mental health issues can be as dangerous, untreated.

Today is the last day of mental health week, in the province of British Columbia … lets love those around us who are struggling with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or one of the many other mental health realities that affect our friends, co-workers, family … possibly even within ourselves. It can be a potentially life-endangering struggle …

help them get help, love them … pray for them.

“I find myself frequently depressed – perhaps more so than any other person here. And I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek to realize afresh the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying upon the cross to put away all my transgressions.” Charles Spurgeon

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