Caring sometimes means minding other people's business
Faith and Culture:
In the fall/winter of 1998-99 I encountered a brutal depressive episode that put me on the psych ward of the Foothills Medical Centre. I was there the better part of a month.
Accordingly, my heart breaks every time I hear of the kind of desperate tragedy that struck the Wourms family of our community last week while they were visiting in Saskatchewan. Mental illness is no respecter of age, religion or socio-economic status. Darren, Hayley and Cayden Wourms were a typical young family settling into a career and new home.
Current statistics indicate that one in five Canadians will experience some form of mental illness during their lives. In other words, the latent ravages of mental illness may not be as distant from us as we’d like to think. One of the unfortunate components of North American society that I have long criticized is the rampant individualism and disconnectedness that prevails here when compared to certain other cultures. Last Saturday, I participated with a number of volunteers from our church in distributing a bedding-out plant to the residents of Bayside. I was very impressed by the friendliness that I received from the occupants of the homes I visited. People were overwhelmingly cordial and interested in what we were doing. I came away encouraged that a large percentage of those I engaged with truly care enough to properly mind another’s business.
It is very easy to slip into a lifestyle that minimizes interaction with one another by virtue of the remote-control garage-door opener. It is precisely in such an environment that mental illness can flourish undetected. I sincerely hope that each one of us evaluates how we live everyday life so that we can improve at our obligation to being our brother’s keeper.
Tim Callaway is pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church in Airdrie. He can be reached at email@example.com