Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crushed in a World of Inner Poverty

We live in a world of poverty.

We can see the desperation of the materially poor. But we do not see the immense inner poverty that afflicts so many of us who live in what are supposed to be the "rich nations" of the world.

We live under so much ruthless pressure. The relentless demand to obtain "results," the constant changes and the resulting ruptures of place, routine, employment, and relationships, the enormous, unprecedented power that enables us to construct the material world but also to escape problems and isolate ourselves: an environment so intense, so stressful, so overwhelming has never existed before in the history of the human race.

And we wonder why so many people suffer from mental illness?

Some people succeed in managing all the power and possibilities placed in their hands, or they fail and get up and try again and again. But they sustain wounds and sometimes they try to hide them or ignore them. Being wounded and vulnerable are obstacles to success.

But many people are simply crushed.

Perhaps they can't be "fixed" by any of our techniques. But they still deserve to be loved. Indeed they, especially, remind us that every human person deserves to be loved simply because they are a human person.

When I say "Never Give Up," I mean never give up on the human person. And never give up on God, on Jesus.

Love people. Start with this love and maintain this love. In an environment of love we will be able to appreciate the real possibilities of a person. In this way our love can become many different kinds of "help" without becoming conditional or just another project measured by the criteria of power.

But people who are beyond any of this "help" -- people who have been crushed -- can still love, even if their love doesn't "produce" anything we can see, even if their love is hidden deep inside their brokenness.

Love awakens the possibility for love in others, but this is not something we can keep tabs on. We don't know the "success rate" for "producing love" because we don't produce it. We have to just throw away our measure, and replace it with hope and trust in the God who is Love.