Monday, May 4, 2009

just like girlfriends

I just got home from moving the lady that I referred to in my last post. It was quite an experience. Unlike anyone I have ever helped before.

As we arrived it was quickly apparent no work had been done to prepare for us. Maybe 20 or more boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes with years of old bills were strewn everywhere - bills spilling out into the next pile beneath them, receipts, torn out newspaper articles, scribbled illegible writings on scraps of paper, calendars full of writing and more medication bottles both full and empty than I have ever seen in my life. These were the remnants of mental illness...

I was very nervous about helping but knew I had to be there so none of the guys were ever left alone with her. She is known for angry outbursts and being impossible to reason with. I decided to treat her just like I would any other girlfriend, it worked! She accepted my comfort whenever she began to get aggravated, I worked hard to make her feel comfortable.

None of us had any idea the amount of things that could be stuffed into a small apartment. But, several hours later we were loaded and ready to move on to the new apartment. She was very distressed as we tried to get her to leave, I coaxed her to my car and we followed the guys.

Later as the guys unloaded, I talked her into letting me take her to Burger King, her favorite fast food restaurant. And for that brief 14 minute drive it was if we were just like girlfriends. She recalled the 19 years she had been married with amazing detail, talking of vacations, holidays and all her memories. She mentioned how she began to experience struggles following her husbands death.

The conversation then turned toward God. How interesting that those whose minds are clouded by imbalance of some kind, can see God the clearest.

She went on to say that nature speaks of God to her. I told her that I too feel God's presence the most when I am outside! She went on to describe her thoughts on the Lord and she obviously knew Him well. She thoroughly enjoyed the brief drive through the beautiful countryside, something I totally take for granted.

Don't you usually assume only those with 'clear' minds could possibly understand God and His promises...not so! I think there is a special place in the heart of our God for those who society labels disabled either mentally or physically.

It was my pleasure entirely to treat another sister in the Lord, just like a girlfriend.

1 comment:

mpierce5 said...

Lori,

Thank you for befriending this woman and to all the men that helped her move! That is all mentally ill people want is to be loved and connected and be needed just like any other human being. They need to know God wants a relationship with them and will never leave them or run from them like many people do. Thank you for caring for her today!!!