Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

Mental Health Awareness Month

This is the last day of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Below are a few of my posts related to mental health, from Facebook.


5/18/2019:

In one town in recent travels, we saw a disturbing sight while sitting at an outdoor cafe. We had a party of about 14 people.

While eating, a man approached who was either mentally unbalanced or high on something, or both. There was a low metal fence between us and him, and he stood across from one of the tables and just stared at us. His pants were sunk too low, to put it kindly. Eventually I approached him with a gift card to a restaurant and said, “Could you use this?” He answered, I’m afraid of that,” but accepted it.

My daughter says that, working with homeless ministries, they don’t necessarily try to converse with such people, but would definitely give them food or clothes, etc., if wanted.

People like this used to be “institutionalized”, sometimes perhaps against their will. What are people’s thoughts on how to help them, if they can be helped?

I told this story to a mental health professional, and he surmised that the man suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Imagine being afraid to ask people for what you need! Pray for the mentally ill!


5/24/2019:

[I recommend reading] the [book] “The Hiding Place”, by and about Corrie ten Boom. After WWII, she was able to forgive a Nazi officer (face to face) who had mistreated her in a concentration camp. That was through God’s grace, because her human emotions rebelled against forgiving him. But God gave her the power to forgive the man.  (Apparently he was repentant as well, though it’s not clear in the story.)


5/29/2019

I read somewhere, something to the effect that believing one cannot be forgiven by God or others, or being unable to forgive, can be a big factor in mental illness. Makes sense; I think I would go mad if I believed I [couldn’t] be forgiven.

Spiritually speaking, when we receive the grace of forgiveness from God, we won’t be so tied to those people who won’t forgive us, seeking their approval.  [And, when we forgive, we are freed from the same unhealthy “attachments”.]

[A book by a “forgiveness therapist:]
The Forgiving Life


Besides the Facebook posts, here is an article about forgiveness, which mentions forgiveness “expert” Everett Worthington:
Setting Captives Free: Forgiveness and Freedom

All the Difference

One life, Jesus’ life … has made all the difference.  Because of Him, we can have light instead of darkness, hope instead of despair, forgiveness instead of condemnation.

He was born in poverty, not riches. He was born without fame or popularity.  He was born to teach us how to give, not grab.

You, too, can make a difference by loving your neighbor and forgiving your enemies.

Or Did the Devil?

How to know
If I’m at fault?
Or would this person
Unremittingly
Find fault again?

O broken heart,
How many failings
Did I impart?

How many breakings
Were caused by me? —
Or did the devil
Stealthily deceive?

Strength

Every burden
Borne with grace
Advances all
The human race

Every cheek,
To other turned
Absorbs their violence —
Hate is spurned

Every insult
Not rebuked,
Will throw your enemies
For a loop

To not strike back,
Withhold revenge,
Shows strength and power
In the end

Suffering Servant

Weighed down
By our sin and suffering,
You sweated blood.
How did you persevere?

Knowing the evil within us,
You still loved us.

Having mercy,
You forgave.
You healed.

Confronting evil,
You were crucified.

Freely laying down your life,
You took it up again.

Savior of the world,
Save us!

Present Savior

Jesus my redeemer,
Healer of all wounds,
Strength amidst our weakness,
Defense against our doom.

Breath that brings refreshment,
Song that calms the soul,
Heart that brings forgiveness,
Words that make us whole.

Teaching us Your wisdom,
Holy Spirit’s gift —
Sacrificed all for us,
From hell our souls does lift.

Victor over evil,
Vanquished Satan’s power,
Present in our suffering,
In our darkest hour.

Evil has no power
When you present are.
Help us to remember
Your presence every hour.

Woman at the Well

No one else could make me see,
My faults, my failings,
Without embarrassing me.

I suddenly
Came face to face
With my selfishness.

I still don’t know
If I see it all.

Broken Sidewalks

[Memories from my teenage years…
I hope people can relate it to their own unique identity struggles,
whatever your ethnicity, religion, or other unique characteristics.
We all have them, and they are all valuable.]

Playing hooky from Biology class,
I walked on broken sidewalks,
The weeds poking through the cracks.

I passed white picket fences
And Victorian houses.
The old immigrants lived there —
the Portuguese, the Italians.
I felt the oldness of it all,
The vines growing on creaky fences.

The sidewalks broken —
like my old life.

I confessed to the Biology teacher.
He forgave me; he was a kindly man.

It was a town of immigrants —
But not my own people —  then.
(Didn’t realize I was an American!)
I spoke Hungarian —
not Italian, nor Portuguese, nor Gaelic —
No other Hungarians in town.

Lord, where do I belong?

You are my Rock and my Anchor;
You knew me all the time.

I’ll forever be an exile on earth —
But I’ll come home to You.

“For everyone has sinned …”

Once I was watching a documentary about the Nuremberg Trials (in which prominent Nazis were on trial for World War II war crimes). A Jewish man who was present related how he suddenly fainted during the testimony of one of the accused. When asked why he fainted, he said, “Suddenly I realized that I, too, was capable of the same horrible actions.”

We ALL need forgiveness.  We cannot do any good without God’s help.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23)

Goodbye to a Friend (Reprise)

Lord, when the feelings end,
And things are still the same,
It takes some faith
For feelings great,
To love without pretense.

When things seem all awry,
When it’s so hard to try,
Must just express
Some bitterness,
And then let bitterness die.

Who did I think you were
That you should meet all needs?
You’re just a person
Whom I conversed with —
Not God, to Whom I plead.

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