“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep… that have taken hold.”
These words were penned by JRR Tolkien in his series of books, The Lord of the Ring. This is significant because Tolkien suffered from PTSD. Did you know that? He fought in World War I, and experienced traumatic events during that time. His words emphasize the pain involved from such an illness. We’ve mentioned this in a previous Bible Blog, but it would be appropriate to mention it here as well: If you break your leg, people can see that and help you out. They’ll hold the door for you, carry any of your books, or any list of things. When you have a mental illness, no one can see it. And when you do tell people, it’s considered inappropriate.
I had a close friend from high school. Throughout his time at that school to today, he has never had many friends. I’ve tried to be a good friend for him, but I’m only one person. I’m not Jesus Christ. It went on to where he was a loner, and eventually was diagnosed with clinical depression. He even had thoughts of self-harm. But you know what? He shouldn’t be ashamed of anything. There’s no shame in having no friends. There’s no shame in cutting yourself. If you were in their shoes, you would likely do the same.
Regarding self-harm, it’s not as serious as suicidal thoughts. But it is bad in which you permanently have scars where you have cut. Others label you when they see your scars. You’re an outsider all of a sudden. Therefore, people who cut themselves often wear long-sleeved shirts. They hide their scars. But I’m here to tell you that’s nonsense. I would contend physical scars are the least of their worries. The most serious being the scars that are made inside of us. Scars that are on our soul.
We talked about in the past where Jesus had physical scars. And most likely scars on his soul as well. To decide between physical illness or mental illness is like deciding between which arm to cut off. Or which eye to pluck out. Both cases are painful. However, I’m here to give you good news. This world is just the beginning. What if two thousand years from now, God would show you that you’re physical scars would be healed? That the scars on your soul would mend? God asks us in true faith that we will live obediently for Him. It might be painful now, but Christ will atone our suffering. There is a river that washes you clean. And a tree that marks the places you’ve been.
So have courage. We might suffer now, but this is just the beginning. The morning is coming.