How do we cope with the mental illnesses of the people we serve on the streets of NYC & NJ?
A friend of mine just asked this question as she has a severely mentally ill woman she met.
I think that my reply deserves put out to more than just her.
I definitely feel like this thought becomes a roadblock in peoples minds around them feeling in adequate to do what I or we at New York City Relief do day in and day out.
Here is my reply:
I don't really think it's about you coping with her illness, it's about you loving her where she's at.
I, myself, guess I don't think about it when I'm interacting with people. I just try to love them how they need to be loved while I'm with them and when I'm not with them I pray that they will be healed.
There have been many people in the past few years that definitely have severe "mental illnesses", but in the same way that we don't focus on the homelessness of the people we serve, I don't think it's fair to focus on the mental illness either.
I think if we just focus on loving the person at face value that are standing in front of us, not focused on any of their flaws, God uses that to help us truly see them at their core and not see their sickness or flaws.
As hard as it is to live in the now, it's what God focuses on over and over. "don't worry about tomorrow", "daily bread", etc.
Your job is not to fix her as a person six years from now.
Your job is to love her today.
Feel free to share this if you think it can be helpful to others.
Much love all! ❤️