This week is National Mental Health week - a week set aside to focus on mental health in Canada. How can I help someone else with their mental health - regardless of how well I know them? I can show them that they matter - to God and to me. No matter who they are, where they live or what they can do for me.
Turning to the Gospels and reading how Jesus interacted with people helps me. He treated all people the same and He stopped what he was doing (no matter how important) to talk to them. I think of the woman at the well - Jesus had a conversation with her. In Mark 10, Jesus stopped, even though He was on a mission to get to Jerusalem, to ask a blind man what he wanted. The woman who was unclean because she had bled for 12 years, Jesus stopped for her as well. All these and many more are examples of how Jesus treated the ‘unimportant, unclean’ in his society. And really, he didn’t need to stop - he could have healed them all while He walked on past. But, He chooses to stop and build a relationship with them. All through the Bible we see God doing things to build a relationship with His people.
I’ll be the first to admit that it is easy just to walk on by but that is not how Jesus wants us to live. I cannot be so busy that I stop seeing the people that I am literally walking right past. I can get them help if needed. I can get them a cup of coffee and a muffin and talk with them. I can learn to take the time to show them that they matter and show them Jesus.
OIM does just this every day of the week. Volunteers are out on the streets, or at a drop-in where they can chat with people, hear their stories and get them help in any number of ways (a winter jacket, a meal, housing, medical help).
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow (Isaiah 1:17)
~Rosanne - Volunteer