The One Who Heals
It's late. But it's usually those words that you cannot sleep without getting down that are the ones worth saying the most?these moments are few and far between- especially when one learns that it is better to listen than to speak.
I've been doing much listening lately. I recently accepted a position at a Psychiatric Unit at a local hospital. My job as Counselor is to work with children and adolescents who are emotionally unstable. I must say, it's changing my life.
In order to keep confidentiality, I can't go into the names of these kids, and I don't even want to give detail to where I work?but I want to share some of these experiences, and the priceless lessons these kids are teaching me.
12 year old: "I have no goals?my goal is to die. That's all I can think about".
14 year old: "My dad?sexually abused me?"
15 year old: "I feel like a blob. I am faceless. I have been rejected by my parents, and my peers. I'm ugly, I'm not fun, I'm nothing?I just want to find a place where I fit".
Has anyone ever told you that you're beautiful? 15 year old: "No. Never"
Maybe your mom will call...9 year old, tear rolling down his face: "She doesn't care enough to call".
16 year old, eyes to the floor: "I'm afraid to look people in the eyes?I am afraid they will see inside".
11 year old: "Well?I don't really have any friends."
These are just a fraction?a glimpse of the aching hearts and the pain that I have been coming into contact with on a daily basis. These kids are barely alive on the outside, and already dead and rotting on the inside. They have been rejected by the world. They have lived unfortunate lives. They have had no one to believe in them. They have been misunderstood, and they have been rejected, and they have been despised.
It seems that so many of my entries have a "depressing" attribute to them. But that is only to those who have closed their eyes to reality and responsibility. I understand, there are many smiling children in this world?but Christ has not come for the well, but for the sick. These are the sick and dying?and these are the people who I choose to open my eyes to?in my writing, and by the grace of God- in my life.
The pattern in my entries lately has been to focus on the people that have touched my life. These children have not only touched, but changed my life.
Broken hearts, their bleeding arms, their battered identities. Some come clothed in pink Abercrombie and Fitch, others come with 22 peircings, Nazi tattoos, and covered in black. All of them crying the same words:
WE HAVE TRIED THIS WORLD. ..AND IT HAS LEFT US EMPTY HANDED. WE HAVE TRIED THIS WORLD, AND IT HAS LIED TO US. WE HAVE TRIED THIS WORLD, AND WECAN TRY NO MORE?OR WE WILL DIE.
I am ashamed. I am ashamed not because I was the one to put them down, or to reject them. Not because I was mean or judgmental. Not because I was prideful or rude. No?no?not at all.
I am ashamed by my silence. I have not given my hand. I have not looked for those in need. I have been self-centered, and tangled up in "finding" my own identity. I have been too busy finding my "way" that I have failed to help the ones who are drowning and in need of a Savior.
For the words unsaid, for the encouragement held in, for the tears unwiped, for the hearts left broken, for the eyes I kept shut, for the ears that failed to listen, for the tears that were never shed, for the love that was withheld, for the joy that went unshared, for the hands that served self, for the Light that went covered.
I am ashamed.
Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." Matthew 9:12
Debra is currently a counselor at a local hospital, working with at risk youth. Her true passion lies in the urban community where she founded and runs an after school program for the local youth and is an active participant in the community. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counseling.