In the late 60s two teachers who were black assisted me for hours on a train ride from NYC to Jacksonville, Florida.
There I was, a schizophrenic, so drugged up, I couldn’t see anything beyond a blur. I was fresh out of a hospital and a seaman of the United States Coast Guard.
Those teachers were angels. They were bold and good and patient and kind and gentle. They were angels.
Ask any schizophrenic and ask if they feel pain. Ask what world they reside in and what voices and pictures they see and then wonder why others wonder why we see things so differently.
We live in another world.
Our worlds consists of dreams and visions and voices and pictures and hope and agony and anxiety and tension and a world where others have no idea what we are speaking about.
And you ask us if we know about pain. You ask us if we know about death and angels and spirit worlds and suffering and hopes and fears and anxiety. We know all about it as it’s a daily diet in our world of refuge.
Where life no longer has any meaning, where suffering is taken for granted where no one can really hurt you anymore. You retreat and backtrack and cover your body and your mind and your spirit and refuse for anything else to come in.
Of course, the scars remain on my wrists and the drugs ingested failed, but then the hope beyond hope rested in people like you. So when people ask about why the church exists, they should point to people like me and as how they help me. How the church raised me up from complete failure to a life with opportunities.
For you see, when someone like me encounters the many possibilities like someone as Jesus, then the world becomes a whole another place.
So then, if you think you are not doing anything worthwhile. If you think you are powerless and worthless and ineffective, you should talk to someone like me.
For I will attest. I’ll avow that you as those two school teachers who comforted me on a long train ride, were sent directly from God to me. It is the difference in the voice of this world. Because of people like them, I wanted to live once again.