|Photo credit: Kat Kellner, Flickr|
I judged. Right away I judged.
When local news reported the Coast Guard stationed on the Oregon coast frantically searched for a 6 year old boy in Yaquina Bay because his mother threw him off a bridge, I judged.
Who in the hell would throw their own child off of a freaking bridge? What is WRONG with people?
The thought disappeared as I continued through the logistics of my day. I had forgotten all about the search until I opened my inbox the next morning and saw a plea from a high school classmate.
I need you to pray, she said. Maybe you could get your friends to pray, too, for this family.
She went on to explain about a special woman in her life. The woman just happens to be the grandmother of Jillian McCabe.
Jillian, who threw her son over a bridge in Newport, Oregon.
I began surfing internet news articles about Jillian. When before I judged, now I read these stories with compassion. After all, now I know someone who knows the grandparent of this woman with tragic mental illness. And it becomes a real person story – not just a 5 minute shock blast on my tv.
The more I read about Jillian’s past, I can’t help but wonder why she hasn’t received help before. Of course, how silly. Our society, our neighborhoods, our churches…we have no idea what to do with mental illness.
So we ignore it. We hope it will go away.
A w-i-d-e range of folks fall into the mental illness category. I have depression, so I guess I have it. Jillian killed her son, so I guess she has it, too.
And look at all the sufferers in between my level and Jillian’s. I have three friends in my circle who have been in residential treatment for mental illness issues – all different forms of it – but all mental illness. Meeting my friends, you’d never know anything was wrong. These are members of the PTA, soccer moms, church-goers. Nothing to see here, folks.
Only there is. We have to look and look deep. The problem won’t go away.
I asked my classmate if she wanted me to keep this in quiet prayer or if I could mass plea on social media. She said I could handle it how I see fit. I figure a blog post is a pretty good call for prayer from every corner of the world.
Will you join me in praying for Jillian, for Jillian’s family, and for little London – the boy who lived 6 years? Will you pray for all the people suffering from mental illness? And will you pray for your own self to make a difference in the life of someone who suffers from it?
God bless their souls and let this be an example to us all. God, don’t let us ignore Your children. Let us show mercy instead of judgement. Thank You for unconditional love. Heaven knows, we need it.