September 3, 2007
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
EVERYONE DESERVES A TIME TO HEAL
It is true people are born with differences; some are apparent such as blond or red hair, tall or short. Some differences can’t be seen. Everyone has issues, some are serious. Some people have serious medical issues. Sometimes those serious medical issues cause loss of toes or a foot or require the use of portable oxygen bottles to travel. Some people require the use of an ambulance to travel. People in those situations need to be treated with respect.
Everyone has dreams, hopes and fears. There are some who, not by there own fault, are physically unable to carry out their dreams. They are trapped within the bodies they were born with. There are programs such as Make-A.Wish Foundation who try to put happiness in life of children with a life-threatening medical condition “Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® has given hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. From [their] humble beginnings with one boy’s wish to be a police officer, [they’ve] evolved into an organization that grants a child’s wish in the United States every 41 minutes” In the 2005 fiscal year they granted 12,527 wishes, a record number, a 10 percent increase from the previous year. This is accomplished just because people care to share the power of a wish®
Many would say that a child having a life-threatening illness is unjust. There are many injustices in this world. There must be at least one that burns inside you. Find out what you can do to lesson or eradicate it then go for it. You may be one to answer a wish or dream of someone else.
Many diseases come with challenges such as a child with a severe mental illness and can present challenges for the child and care giver. These challenges continue while they grow. When that child grows up into an adult, then many people see the adult body, the outward appearance; they don’t see the inner workings. Medical professionals use all sorts of tools to look inside for inner workings, such as MRI and CAT Scans. Then there are differences of opinions as to what happen and how to address it. This is true when adults get ill also.
I don’t know how many illnesses there are, but I know there are many people who are hurting and the pain sometimes runs so deep it that affects all facets of their life. It affects the way people think about themselves and how they project themselves to others. People see the outside; they don’t see the inside.
A mental illness, a medical condition, affects the way people think and the way they are perceived. Sometimes those who assist the mentally ill are also ostracized. When the civil rights movement was front page news it was not always popular to be one assisting those who were put down for so many years. When the first women organized to get the right to vote it was not easy for the first men to openly agree. It is not always popular for men to say abuse is wrong.
People oftentimes have things from which they need or would like to be healed-. The ones who can and do reach out should be helped. The ones who are unable to speak for themselves need a voice and a chance. Some can not be healed, but deserve to live in peace and safety. We owe each of them a duty to help where we can. We owe them not to get stuck on seeing the outside and seeing each person for whom they are on the inside.
You cannot assume that a person is unwilling to work, to support themselves and be a “normal” productive citizen unless you know them and their circumstances, they may have a medical issue that prevents them. They may need assistance to get into or return to the work force. Then again they may just be unable. We who rest from our labors on Labor Day should be thankful we are able to labor and should be willing to help those who can’t.
Rev Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries and current President of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Greater Framingham. NAMI Greater Framingham has support groups for family and friends in Framingham and Uxbridge, and Peer Support Groups in Marlborough and Milford and a Family to Family 12 week Education Course in Framingham and various Education Meetings, The next major event is a 5 K Walk/Run and fund raising dinner September 8,2007 to benefit Domestic Violence programs in MA and AZ. www.narrowpathministries.org and http://home.earthlink.net/~nami01704