We all know these people. We pass them, not only lost in our bubbling worlds, but we even try to avoid them. Because they are below the line of our idea of a full presence in society and we must admit that we more or less accept them as outsiders. Moreover – for failed, dropped from the relentless battle with the forces of the world. They are the “modern lepers,” known from the Gospel texts, who arouse universal hostility, fear, and disgust. They are touched by Him and await our purely human intimacy. They simply did not survive the battle with the elements of the world and fell into another, sick reality.
It has been so since the dawn of time, it is so now, and it will obviously remain so until the last day of this sinful world, until God decides to end everything and call us to judgment.
But they are blessed. Yes, the crazy, mentally ill people who fill our daily lives and their faces appear everywhere. They are, in a way incomprehensible to us, God’s favorites. To them God has given this special burden, to bear the burden of sickness. The world rejects them, overruns them with the galloping rhythm of the race against time, but He, the Almighty and All-Merciful God, presses them to Himself.
Holy Orthodoxy clearly instructs why God allows the sick – for personal or hereditary sins, for humility or for the manifestation of His glory, but in all cases for salvation. Because He is a Thinker, powerful and deep, and He best judges what, when and how to happen to each of His children. We know from our first steps in the faith that everything that happens in the world or in us happens by God’s will or permission. And we are obliged to humble ourselves, whether we understand the signs from Heaven or not. Thus, with our heads bowed, we become sons, not just adopted. Friends, not mercenaries. Humility is the true mark of the faithful, of those who bear it as a fiery seal in their hearts.
In his missionary letters “To the Expelled from Paradise,” St. Nikolai Velimirovich instructed a woman who shared her life with her mentally ill husband: “But you can say: but now he can neither repent nor pray. God… And he, in his current state, can only suffer – for himself for salvation, and for others – for fear. Every hospital points a finger at God, but none like the psychiatric one. ”(On the Madmen, p. 299).
So let us, immersed in our complacency and quiet worldly charm, turn our faces to them, the rejected and so often despised, and remember the thought of the British actor Sean Connery, who in one of his statements said the following: Man is as fragile as an egg can break at the slightest fall. ‘ What has happened to them, the despised, can happen to any of us, no matter how difficult it is for us to accept. We are human and Christian, and we must not just have love, but it is giving and even sacrificial. The Savior expects from us not just mercy, but special mercy to change our consciousness and personal view of each of them, and deeds of almsgiving and prayer. Let’s try to overcome our entrenched misconception about them, and break our hearts, say to ourselves: “Have mercy on the madman!”.