We have a friend who loves us the way that she can. I feel honored when she is free enough to confide the most horrific episodes of her life to me.
She lived in a box in New York City for more years than she can remember, with her husband. Her life, as early as she could remember, was filled with the most disturbing kind of abuses you ever heard. I am nauseated and repulsed by the extreme pain she was forced to endure. This stuff makes people react very differently, to every circumstance, than what you or I would consider normal; a type of primitive self preservation. Her moods swing from elation to abject fear in one instance. Her impulses are more in control than her conscience. A word can conjure up the worst memories that become real to her within. She is more like a wild animal than civilized; more like a child than an adult.
Her church experience has been people becoming exhausted in helping her, with comments like, “she just keeps making bad decisions,” and “why can’t she just act right?” She has 48 years of trying to survive in the most primitive ways. She can’t.
Another good friend rescued her. She took her into her home, managed an arsenal of drugs that would boggle the mind and keeps her alive, navigated doctor appointments, HIV treatments, and put up with the most difficult rejections of God’s mercy and impulses that I’ve ever seen; and working tirelessly as Christ’s representative in an 83 year old container.
We’ve needed to help to modify things for them, but we must not allow either of them to feel as though their great gains amount to loss. We must work to keep our dear friends connected to each other and us. We trust God that the strides that they made together, will move her ever closer to Christ’s healing.
How much love will help her? How much inconvenience will we need to endure to comfort her? How much love will be needed to assure her of Christ’s love? Isn’t this who HE is? Isn’t this who we must become?