Have you ever been to a mental health court hearing? I have on several occasions. It is one of the most difficult, yet beautiful experiences to behold. You might think it's strange that I use the word "beautiful," but let me explain. Primarily, it's difficult because no one wants to take someone's rights away. No one relishes court ordering a person to take medications or to testify in front of the very person you love about their behavior during an unwelcome brain storm of psychosis.
But there it is. We live in this broken world with these difficult choices. And it is only love that drives us to help the ones we care for so deeply. Yet, if you look more closely, there is also a beauty in the rescuing. A beauty that defies our unrest and apprehension. We can say "no" to clawing doubt and fears, because what is the alternative anyway? But there's so much more to see in that court room, so much more to take to heart.
How do you love the one who can't love you back? The one you long to hold in your arms and gently say, "it's going to be all right, my dear." When you know they can't, or won't be held. And you don't really know if it will be all right. How in this mess do you love with a love that will not be reciprocated? How when there is an unseen knife in your heart that goes with you everywhere? It taunts you with an ache that defies your attempts to soothe.
Well, you begin by remembering. Remember the one who loved you when you didn't, or wouldn't, love him back. When you refused and mocked, said "No!" to grace. No to the very arms that could make you whole. Yet, He would not relent and He loved...
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -
Jesus loves every day. He never stops, even against the refusing and the mocking of our hearts, choosing our own way. He doesn't relent. I can love this way, in part, because He loves me so much more. I can choose to love this way, because the Father made the way. He crushed His son so I will never be crushed by the weight of my sins...
"Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:4-6
So is it possible to find beauty in a mental health court? Even joy? Oh yes, I believe it is. Because you cannot stop Isaiah 53 love. It enters the darkest, the bleakest places. And there it shines most bright.
Deborah Geesling, founder of P82 Project Restoration