Imago Dei and the Unspeakables
New to the Non-profit world, and running on a shoestring budget, I seem to be behind the eight-ball when it comes to aligning our social media blasts with important dates. Sunday was "National Sanctity of Human Life Day" and true to form, I missed the memo.
As photographs and stories filled my news feed of people standing up for the lives of the pre-born, something I fully support, a struggle began to foment in my soul. I just knew the sanctity of life, as defined by Genesis 1:27, had so much more to encompass:
I was glad to see many speaking up this year at the "March for Life" in Washington, DC on behalf of men and women made in the image of God. Imago Dei. Thousands marched, not only on behalf of protecting the pre-born, but on behalf of the elderly, the disabled, the refugee, and against racial injustice. I love to see the powerless and the marginalized get their day. And so, I rejoiced.
And then, I struggled too. I fought back a see-saw of emotions that went between passion for the oppressed and a stirring discomfort knowing that the seriously mentally ill rarely are, if ever, spoken of. Why are they the unspeakable ones? I mused. Imago Dei.
Oh, we are tepidly comfortable as a nation in speaking up for people with more common mental health challenges, as we should be. But people with more serious mental illnesses, like Schizophrenia, never make it to the cool Christian blogs or political stump speeches.
As one of our elders began to pray in our church yesterday on National Sanctity of Life Sunday, he prayed for image bearers. He prayed for the pre-born, the elderly, the disabled, and the refugee. He prayed against racial injustice, for the marginalized, and to my surprise, he spoke the unspeakable: he prayed for the mentally ill. He said it. And the tears welled up with gratitude. To hear the unspeakable words before God and our congregation, well, it was as beautiful a sound as I've ever heard. Yet, God did not need to hear those words, because He already knows. It is us who need to hear and it is us who need to speak.
So, dear churches, may I appeal to you? Dear neighbors, may I have an honest word with you? Are you speaking up for the unspeakables? Are you speaking up on behalf of the Imago Dei people in your communities who have no voice? Are you moving toward the seriously mentally ill as Jesus moved toward you?
I pray that you are. And I pray that you will join us in elevating their voice in 2018. These are our very own neighbors who cannot fight for themselves and they need our help. These are the untouchables, the unspeakables of our day.
National Sanctity of Life day is over, but every day we can celebrate the wonder of Imago Dei. Every day we can reflect the gospel and the very heart of God through speaking and through giving.
I've never been comfortable with asking for help, much less asking people to partner with us financially. But that is exactly what I'm doing. This is us, all of us, speaking up and speaking out for our neighbors who are rarely spoken of.
Please consider giving to P82 Project Restoration this year. Every gift helps, big or small, and here are just a few examples:
- $25.00 per month will cover the cost of a website (we have 2 now, we are building 1 more).
- $50.00 per month will cover the cost of paper, stamps, ink (and sometimes I need gas! I drive to a ton of meetings!).
- $75.00 per month will cover the cost of marketing supplies (we need to get the word out!)
- $100.00 per month will cover the cost of producing materials for Crisis Care Team training for the faith community (come on faith groups! you can do this and we want to help you!).
- $500.00 will cover the cost of video and marketing production (did I mention we need to get the word out!)
- $1,000.00 or more will help us gear up for larger fundraising events (did I mention we are going to open a home! Oh yes, we are...)
Whatever you can give, please know that it will make a difference! We are tiny handful of volunteers and we take no salary. Every bit that we receive is used to elevate this cause. Won't you consider joining in this work?
You can give securely here: DONATE to P82
I guarantee you, you will never regret giving to those who can never pay you back.