Ode to a Nameless, Homeless Lady

Posted April 11, 2014 by Karen Butler
Categories: Poetry

Tags: , , , , ,

The general rule is that those who listen most and speak least will be the most useful to sufferers. —David Murray

At last, Dr. Murray and I are in perfect agreement!  I am appalled at his reckless recommendation of the use of anti-depressants — dismissing their considerable harms, and ignoring the research that grant them of  no more benefit than placebo. Therefore, readers of his blog, and his  book, “Christians Get Depressed, Too” are not given true informed consent. Nor do I regard him as a reliable or well-informed authority on Depression, and this is why.

But, as he says here, it is  good to just listen to those in crisis, and not to be overfond of your own rhetoric and presuppositions. What is most important is that those in the throes of that particular terror — that he prefers to call ‘mental illness’–  feel safe, and especially safe in our churches. And that is my passion — that these kinds of sufferers feel safe and really listened to, and that their spiritual crisis not be seen as the product of a ‘broken brain’. Yet it is the meds that break the brains of some. 

We must listen, really listen to those suffering. Because in its distress, a body can speak in its own idiosyncratic language that disturbs the social order, and instead of being respectfully listened to, sufferers are treated with means that if they had any agency over their own bodies, they would vehemently protest. That is also part of what is lacking in  informed consent.  So we must make a supernatural effort to listen to those who might be standing on a kind of holy ground.  I think that if Dr. Murray would read my testimony, he would understand what I mean by this.

When those in soul crisis don’t protest when men in  white coats come for them — so that  feelings of peace and safety might be restored for everyone else– it is really saying something. It says that these hapless individuals feel so unsafe and so helpless that they would permit even this kind of huge indignity. I saw this kind of emergency in a nameless, homeless lady  who allowed herself to be straitjacketed and carted away this week at our church’s outreach to the homeless, a population that consists of a good portion of the intractably mentally ill, a population that is skyrocketing because of reckless overprescription of psychoactive drugs,  as journalist Robert Whittaker documents in his groundbreaking book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic”

It was so interesting to me that after educating all week on this blog about the Murphy Bill, which would legalize such callous disregard for basic human rights in a huge government power grab, I found myself kneeling on the ground, getting as close as I could to a hostile, frightened woman — really trying to listen to what she said, and in her babblings of government conspiracy to cut off peoples’ feet, I heard her fear for her own — statistically  quite likely to be — gangrenous legs.  She had contempt for  authorities who exploit and mistreat, yet she submitted to the eyerolls of the fireman who came to give ‘medical treatment’. That was really saying something. I heard her fear, and her desire for medical attention. I fervently pray that she got good care.

Because, on the ground in our church fellowship hall, it wasn’t about me and my campaign against coerced care, and mandated chemical lobotomies for the poor and the socially inconvenient. It wasn’t even about my grief about my mother and daughter who went one day into that same locked ward. It was about this woman and what she really needed. And knowing that Diabetes Type 2 is one of the hugest risks to this overmedicated population, I heard her fears for her hurting feet — and though I  felt anguish as I watched her go meekly into that ambulance, I understood that the  pain I felt was more about me.

Sometimes when I am really in a great amount of grief  I have to express it in poetry. I think this one in particular comes from a general feeling of not being respected or really listened to in the conversations I have about these issues.  At times like this, I really identify with the homeless mentally ill population that is so outside the camp, whose inchoate passion is never properly interpreted. That doesn’t feel safe.

 

Ode to a Nameless Homeless Lady

I know it was just that my friends wanted you to be safe,
that is why we called 911
after you wouldn’t get off the floor after our dinner.

Oh, I hope you really enjoyed
the food we made, it was a feast wasn’t it?
One of my best  cooking nights! With plenty of volunteers
so we could really pull out all the stops.
Enchiladas,chile beans, mexican rice, an amazing salad –
(Frazier, I need your recipe for that broccoli bacon slaw.)
And the best brownies my own little girls made.
We wanted you to feel loved
and honored, which is why we used our china plates –
(Oh thank you Steve N., for telling me this!)

All this effort dear lady, to make  felt sanctuary replace
The real fear you feel, so that surrounded
by the presence of  the One  God you can palpably sense
every week, you’ll be so God-haunted you’ll hunt for him
as you walk your lonely roads on your hurting feet.

My friends just wanted you to be safe, and that is why
that scary ambulance came. And why everyone came to look.
And really, you did not protest too much about it,
this might be the only occasion when you are paid attention to!
Except at such a costly price of  indignity.
But I am the one who took offense
at the patronizing tone of the fireman
as he got you into that chair they straitjacketed
you to, and wheeled away!

Because I remember my mother.
She was once at that same locked ward,
a literal padded cell — I saw it!
I peeked at her through the window there.
Are you really someone’s mother, too?  Oh that
You would be my mother, my sister —  and feel  safe
as you find your home in Him.

But you went meekly.
Perhaps you are used to such insults,
Or you were too distracted by your own real pain.

From the way you talked about conspiracies
the authorities have to cut off feet, I could hear your fear
for your health. I hope you got good medical attention!
When you are hearing  your voices sometimes
you aren’t listened to
at all, and your symptoms are commonly dismissed
as “Somatic Symptom Disorder” — do you hate the way they
can dismiss having anything Real to do with  you, except
to increase your dosage — because of convenient categories?

How sometimes they don’t listen, and  don’t remember
that diabetes is definitely one of the most common
Adverse Effects of the expensive atypical anti-psychotics
you are probably prescribed to control your
anti social behavior and your anger at your mother –
with little regard for serious side effects.

“These include major, rapid weight gain
— 40 pounds is not uncommon — Type 2 diabetes,
breast development in boys,
irreversible facial tics
sudden heart failure with polypharmacy
in the young, and among the elderly
an increased risk of death.”

No wonder your pain is ignored.
No one ever really listens to the ravings of a lunatic
who says everything’s  a conspiracy.
Even the  very real pain you try to describe in your feet

with your own bodies unique language.
And you are curled up into the comfort of a womb
like my own daughter did that day
because no one cares about your dying, really.
Only a daughter would, or your mama who is probably  dead.

No one cares to connect your babblings
to the the common side effects of the drugs
they use to dose you to your death,  never
really listening to you! But you have seen others
in permanent wheelchairs, and you are afraid.

And you should be! I wish I could help you
but you will not even tell us your name,
and why should you? They won’t even let
you choose your own name for your
infirmities, the way Jesus did with Legion,
before he brought him to his own right mind.

Jesus gives even demoniacs some human agency.

Jesus let Legion diagnose his  condition.
He  wanted Legion to know he was known, and to
Comfort him before he set him free.

Keep your name secret from your captors,
and from me too, until you know me.
Jesus knows your true name
and he will connect me to it
when I pray for you.
So I don’t blame you for not sharing
the very last thing
you have left, for we have stolen
from you the dignity of  body agency
and forgotten that you, too
are made in the image of God.

You are invited to eat with us again, dear Nameless Lady,
at our delicious feasts we host for madwomen
and prodigal sons and hobos — all sinners and good
for nothings like me, who will sit with you
at your table and bring you a cup of cold water
and touch your hands, and pray for healing
for your feet if you let us. But first you give permission.
We long to  restore some measure of nobility
that the harsh streets and a corrupt system
of ‘care’ have ripped away from you,
oh dear Nameless Homeless Lady!

 

 

 On this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, please oppose the Murphy Bill HR #3717, because:

“People will turn away from forced and coercive services.
We need to feel safe and understood to connect with others.
We also need hope and a sense that we can get what we need.

So many difficulties arise in life,
especially when our parents, schools and communities
have their own problems and don’t understand our perspective.

Connection, unconditional positive regard,
trauma informed services and safety
must replace coercive, medical models
and forced services if we hope to help others heal.”

words of Cindy Peterson Dana, as a comment on a thread at Mad in America, titled– Murphy Bill: Violates Civil Rights, Increases Government Intrusion and Control, and Ignores Scientific Research

 

The Reason For a Cage, Again?

Posted April 10, 2014 by Karen Butler
Categories: Against the Murphy Bill, Poetry, The Nervous Breakdown

Tags: , , , , , ,

Eulogy for our own little pet canary, “Knox”
found dead in his sleep, April 14, 2014

The Reason for a Cage, Again?

But I did it for your own good, little bird now perished
oh you of sweet voice and vibrant plumage.
Your cheery canary’s song I cherished,
yet you lie cornered and stiffened —  still imprisoned in your cage!

But you know, Knox, it would have been suicide
to let you wander the wild skies and nest among the finches –
All your gloating cousins you enviously eyed
as they pecked the seed cup pinned against your own window.

Never again will I cage one touched with fire.
Never again will a creature made in God’s image
grow weaker and cease to sing under my patronage,
his tortured last pants pleading for his hearts desire!

 

 On this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, please oppose the Murphy Bill HR #3717, because:

“People will turn away from forced and coercive services.
We need to feel safe and understood to connect with others.
We also need hope and a sense that we can get what we need.

So many difficulties arise in life,
especially when our parents, schools and communities
have their own problems and don’t understand our perspective.

Connection, unconditional positive regard,
trauma informed services and safety
must replace coercive, medical models
and forced services if we hope to help others heal.”

words of Cindy Peterson Dana, as a comment on a thread at Mad in America, titled– Murphy Bill: Violates Civil Rights, Increases Government Intrusion and Control, and Ignores Scientific Research

 

Against Medicating the Poets and Prophets –and the Little Children Who Suffer and the Soldiers Who Die Because of Our Sin

Posted April 9, 2014 by Karen Butler
Categories: Biblical Counseling, Christians and Psychotropics: An Uneasy Exchange, Uncategorized

Tags:

Here again is an answer to a comment on the guest post, “The Gospel and Mental Illness” .

I had to edit out a personal new record of exclamation points when I freshened up that first draft on my blog! And this version has the information about “the little children who suffer, and the soldiers who die” I had no time to include when I published it at TGC, because my computer was balking and I had to go cook for our church’s outreach to the homeless. So this is well worth re-reading:

Oh, Dr. of Dred Scott Who Diagnosed His Drapetmonia, the Drug Company Shill — now,temper, temper! You must quickly remember my literary conceit. Drawn from atheistic psychiatry’s logic and methodologies, which declare that absent any biomarkers, coercive authorities  can legally (why and how to oppose the Murphy Bill here) alter your true identity, judge your motivations, deprive you of agency over your very own body all for your own good. So I can make you up as I go along, and I have decided that you are in denial over your delusional belief that you are a Thought Leader who holds tremendous sway over many hapless Christians who lack true informed consent about the drugs they are ingesting. Instead you are one of that interestesting breed of psychiatrists, those KOL’s who have sold their souls to BigPharma. While those poor runaway slaves just got forty lashes as his treatment for his irrational desire to escape his kind masters,  your dosage of your psychiatric slave’s drugs will increase until his symptoms agree with your diagnoses or dies. Or no longer asks questions of your incompetence.

Like 23 year-old Marine Corporal Andrew White, who was simultaneously grieving his soldier brother’s death, and suffering his own PTSD, who was dosed with the typical polypharmacy of  Paxil, Seroquel and Klonopin until the Seroquel alone reached a whopping 1600 mg per day, and he died in his sleep. Like many soldiers are doing, and suiciding at record rates too. We are driving our soldiers crazy with psychiatric drugs, they have always been the governments guinea pigs,  but these kinds of stories die in their sleep, too. Because you all just shake your heads, when another soldier runs amok on a base. Must have gone off his meds, you say. Those amongst Critical Psychiatry would argue that the Fort Hood Shooter et al have gone off on their meds.

The most egregious case of human guinea pigs is  BigPharmas’s own Medical Child Abuse. Do I need to remind you of Rebecca Riley? I thought not, you are trembling now, Dr. of Dred Scott.  Here are  the words of  chief editor (for twenty years!) of The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell’s own  searing words in the New York Review of Books, as she recounts the gross malpractice the psychiatrists at Tufts still defend. Sadly this kind of reckless polypharmacy is still common and even increasing among foster children even today.

In December 2006 a four-year-old child named Rebecca Riley died in a small town near Boston from a combination of Clonidine and Depakote, which she had been prescribed, along with Seroquel, to treat “ADHD” and “bipolar disorder”—diagnoses she received when she was two years old. Clonidine was approved by the FDA for treating high blood pressure. Depakote was approved for treating epilepsy and acute mania in bipolar disorder. Seroquel was approved for treating schizophrenia and acute mania. None of the three was approved to treat ADHD or for long-term use in bipolar disorder, and none was approved for children Rebecca’s age. Rebecca’s two older siblings had been given the same diagnoses and were each taking three psychoactive drugs. The parents had obtained SSI benefits for the siblings and for themselves, and were applying for benefits for Rebecca when she died. The family’s total income from SSI was about $30,000 per year.

 

But as  you well know, Doctor, that everyone is a human guinea pig, everyone lacks true informed consent, when the average test when  bringing anti-depressants to market in the eighties was 6-8 weeks —  all while  BigPharma got the FDA’s stamp of approval for its ghostwritten reports and massaged data. Everyone is a human guinea pig here.  But I ramble, Dr. of Dred Scott, perhaps a Cymbalta for your delusions? I have one I found right here in your sample bag, it’s good for everything that ails you– even urinary incontinence!  Because like the FDA said, nothing to see here, Never mind that unfortunate girl who hanged herself in the lab when undergoing testing for such purposes, http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2005/09/drug_secrets.html It was covered up, back in 2003 when it happened.  Not Otherwise Specified is such a helpful category in the DSM-5. Now a lawsuit has been quietly settled against Eli Lily — when are they going to hold the legal drug pushers accountable, Oh, Dr. of Dred Scott Who Diagnosed Drapetomania? Or those Thought Leaders among Christian communities, and their pastors, like John MacArthur,  be sued for giving wrong counsel in a psychiatric crisis? Will the situations be reversed, and the pastors be sued for following outdated methods of soulcare? I don’t know, I just feel dizzy from all this spin control, and the lawyers are circling.

This lawyer puts you all on notice: Guys like him are my new BFF’s — and though dread went through my heart when one of my sons said he wanted to be a lawyer — because a newly minted J.D. is practically unemployable –now I cheer for the few professions who still have the power to keep these kinds of unchecked powers still accountable:

“We’ve reached the point where almost every week there’s a new revelation of the shortcomings of psychiatric drugs and practices. Any psychiatrist, particularly in the involuntary system, who is not seriously reevaluating his or her practices is seriously neglecting his or her professional and moral responsibilities.”

Jack Maccoullough, lawyer and commenter on a thread at MIA reporting the sobering results of a study on the newest, and more expensive!, atypical antipsychotics.

 

But I digress. I have an inkling of who you are, Dr. of Dred Scott Who Diagnosed His Drapetomania, because you have  such a distinctive voice! :)

Patient readers will profit from that linked article above, to learn about Psychiatry’s past and present abuses of its powers. You must stay informed, because the Powers That Be are on a dangerous mission creep, they had Drapetomania at their disposal, they forced lobotomies on hapless PTSD sufferers during WWII, and right now they are accusing Justina Pelletier’s parents of Medical Child Abuse and issuing a gag order to mute their cries of  unfair! http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/04/justina-pelletier-case-continues/ What’s next? ? Homophobia?

I am glad we can achieve some detente about many of these issues, Doctor of Dred Scott,  but I fear you maximize the benefits of psychotropics, and minimize the benefits of your so-called ‘mental illnesses.’  You read me right. I’ll say it louder,  BENEFITS!

Remember Rachel Starke’s distress that we did not know that Heliobacter Pylori was responsible for ulcers? Well, it turns out most healthy people have this bacteria in their gut, and they do just fine! In fact, they have recently discovered that this heinous bacteria offers some benefits to children, protecting them from the onset of asthma and allergy! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888205/

Now can we see similar benefits from your “mental illnesses?” Clinical Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jameison wrote a book, “Touched With Fire”, in which she traces the artistic temperament to Depression and Bipolar diagnoses. Some Internet startups value Aspbergers for their obsessive gifts for debugging and coding. And can it be that we are chemically lobotomizing some of our most valued creatives, the Prophets and Seers, those who hear voices,  those you label “schizophrenics?’

Because not all voices are Bad Voices. Look at Elanor Longdon, http://www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head, whose ‘psychic civil war’  was treated to psychiatric malpractice. She learned to discern the good from the evil, and has become a powerful voice speaking the truth to psychiatric power on behalf of the  survivor movement.

And as one with lived experience I don’t want anyone medicalizing my mental illnesses. The voice I heard was Jesus’ and he saved my life. http://thenface2face.wordpress.com/about// — but some of you cessationists will probably agree with the psychiatrists that I was hallucinating. If I was there was So. Much.Love. in that voice. I desperately want to ‘hallucinate’ again. Listen to it, yet one more time.

You must listen too, to these voices. I highly recommend it. It changes your life. And listen with greater skill to those who are hearing them, and try not to be afraid of them. They might be speaking the ‘tongues of angels’ — or of devils. But we can’t know until we have patiently listened, and interpreted their words and their bodies own distinctive language, perhaps of spiritual distress. Those in the Critical Psychiatry movement understand these things better than we do, and that is why I am going outside this camp and listen to them more and more. And talk to them about how Jesus saved me from certain death. Because I would have been a raving bag lady, on and off her meds, rambling on the streets of San Francisco like the tragic figures I serve today if he hadn’t. With a few awful poetic scribblings among the aluminum cans and dirty detritus in my shopping cart, as I  wander the streets of San Francisco and rail about all the hidden conspiracies.

 

On this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, please oppose the Murphy Bill HR #3717, because:

“People will turn away from forced and coercive services.
We need to feel safe and understood to connect with others.
We also need hope and a sense that we can get what we need.

So many difficulties arise in life,
especially when our parents, schools and communities
have their own problems and don’t understand our perspective.

Connection, unconditional positive regard,
trauma informed services and safety
must replace coercive, medical models
and forced services if we hope to help others heal.”

words of Cindy Peterson Dana, as a comment on a thread at Mad in America, titled– Murphy Bill: Violates Civil Rights, Increases Government Intrusion and Control, and Ignores Scientific Research

Doctor, Dred Scott is in Florid Drapetomania Again! Perhaps a Lobotomy?

Posted April 8, 2014 by Karen Butler
Categories: Biblical Counseling, Christians and Psychotropics: An Uneasy Exchange

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Too bad those doctors who championed that notorious description of Drapetomania didn’t have Haldol at the ready for injection like your nice modern psych wards do, it is so useful as a chemical restraint for bad behavior. But for anyone clueless about the real diagnoses of “Drapetomania”, for anyone who needs a sad history lesson, this spurious social control technique, excuse me, I meant ‘diagnosis’,  is that Civil War era doctors actually believed slaves held an  irrational belief –remember, this was dreamed up way back in 1851 — that freedom was better than chains. Because of course slaves loved their captors, and thus it would be irrational to escape forced labor. This was actually argued as a medical diagnosis! This is all very relevant to the debate going on about “The Gospel and Mental Illness” at Kevin DeYoungs site. A commenter I name “Not a Sole Fib” because he is anonymous and I can change his name if I want, asked good questions about how things should  be named. I suspect he is quite comfortable with Psychiatry’s display of their categories of ‘mental illness’ in the DSM-5.

Have any of you who are overfond of the DSM-5 and its interesting categories of human suffering, have you really thought carefully about the inevitable consequences of  these foolish atheistic taxonomies?   But listen, Oh Power That Be, Oh You Who Can Stifle Dissent,  know this. Your trusty double-edged sword of ontology and epistemology divides sometimes in uncomfortable ways. Will “homophobia” be the next irrational behavior to be controlled by coercive psychiatry? Forced drugging for those fundies who still put up a fight? Haven’t you heard of the cute diagnostic category, “Not Otherwise Specified” in the DSM-5? It means they get to make it up as they go along. What a useful dragnet that will prove for those rebellious peons who refuse to submit to the powers that be. Think carefully about this issue, Christians, don’t think this kind of injustice can happen because that kind of raw naked abuse of power doesn’t exist in our beloved America governed by the rule of law — y’all had best be better informed on these issues.  Beware when the judges are hobnobbing with the Forced Druggists. Beware these kinds of  comfortable relationships among the power elite. Beware when you become comfortable that  anyone holds this kind of ruling power.

Don’t fall asleep reading, church. This will actually affect your own comfort. I think sooner.

Because this kind of naked abuse of power is  actually happening in this day and age:  Behold The Horrifying Story of Justina Pelletier. Shudder,  fellow Christians, because when this completely corrupt system of Psychiatry can forcibly lock up a fifteen year old girl like Justina, who was happily ice skating in a competition before her unfortunate meetup with the nice folks at the notorious Bader 5, Boston Children’s Psych Ward. Now she is confined to a wheelchair after languishing  for over a year in a locked psych ward. Those helpful medical experts are now giving her psychiatric drugs instead of the course of treatment other specialists of her peculiar Mitochondrial Disorder had decided was good for her — because head doctors know what’s good for everyone! So our well meaning psychiatrists are teaching Justina that her symptoms are all in her head. I hope they are not using electroshock therapy to accomplish this goal. I know I would cry uncle after experiencing this. I am relieved to note that lobotomies are no longer the current fashion in psychiatric treatment! A nice jab with an ice-pick through the eye straight into prefrontal lobe will do the trick Justina! 

Please go to that link and read that searing Wall Street Journal expose of the raw naked power neurologist  Dr. Walter Freeman held at one time in the 1950’s . It is deeply sobering to consider  the sway his crackpot ideas  held over influential people.  He  experimented with his course of treatment among hapless vets suffering PTSD after World War — “in accord with our desire to keep abreast of all advances in treatment,” the V.A. says in a memo. His influence spread and people in psychic distress would write to him and beg for lobotomies to be returned to a  “a surgically induced childhood.” His own description. I’d rather have Jesus induce my childlike state with the Holy Spirits psychic surgery — if you don’t mind, O Powers That Be.  It was cutting edge treatment for all the intractable and difficult to handle patients in psych wards. JFK’s father had it performed on his own daughter.

Faced with an ice pick, I think Justina would meekly say, “No thank you doctor, I will promise to stop cheeking my Seroquel.”  These nice doctors at Boston Children’s also shut up her parent’s righteous pleas for mercy from the judge,  because they told him those pesky parents were interfering with their brainwashing –excuse me, I meant the curing of  her brain disease. The Pelletiers had no concern for their daughters health and safety, and that is why they have been accused of Medical Child Abuse. So Jessica is languishing in this jail– excuse me again, I mean nice comfy locked ward,  and cannot see them except in weekly supervised visits.  But with a gag order in places where they don’t belong,  and the stifling of any dissent, you too could be next. Don’t you agree, Oh Power that Moderates Comments on the Subject of “The Gospel and Mental Illness at influential platforms in the church?’

Finally! I can say “Thank God for lawyers” :) Thank you Lord, that Dershowitz is on it!

 

‘Not a Sole Fib’ also made this unchallenged statement in the comments:

“At some point, mumps, measles, chickenpox and infection were at a state where the mechanism wasn’t well known.”

These diseases offered biomarkers that enabled researchers to trace the mechanism. Find the biomarkers for schizophrenia and bipolar and depression and I’ll dance a little dance for you, Doctor of Dred Scott, and bend over too for those silver bullets of targeting drugs which will afford great benefits, and do less harm! But for now I am in full agreement with Dr. Thomas Szasz, who gave us that illustration of Drapetomania for the abuses of psychiatry.  He wrote the book Lambert is probably afraid to quote because of Szasz’ polarizing Libertartian philosophies – “The Myth of Mental Illness” — that “mental illness” is a linguistic construct that priveleges those in power to control behavior that they are uncomfortable or disagree with.

I cannot agree with that esteemed SUNY professor of psychiatry more. Every psychotic who is permitted agency to refuse dangerous neuroleptics for more effective and humane courses of treatment is grateful for his work.  We would be hearing the dreadful doctor who answers the alarmed nurse above,  saying to us, “”Bend over psychiatric slave, because the DSM-5 has intimated that your condition is threatening  your safety. You really might want to escape this locked ward to freedom, and we have determined that fresh air and sunshine is not a healthy environment for you at all. “

 

On this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, please oppose the Murphy Bill HR #3717, because:

“People will turn away from forced and coercive services.
We need to feel safe and understood to connect with others.
We also need hope and a sense that we can get what we need.

So many difficulties arise in life,
especially when our parents, schools and communities
have their own problems and don’t understand our perspective.

Connection, unconditional positive regard,
trauma informed services and safety
must replace coercive, medical models
and forced services if we hope to help others heal.”

words of Cindy Peterson Dana, as a comment on a thread at Mad in America, titled– Murphy Bill: Violates Civil Rights, Increases Government Intrusion and Control, and Ignores Scientific Research

 

 

Naming Rights for These Afflictions — They Belong to the Legions

Posted April 8, 2014 by Karen Butler
Categories: Biblical Counseling, Christians and Psychotropics: An Uneasy Exchange

Tags: , , ,

Oh my goodness, Kevin De Young! You allow this lack of accountability on your blog, after wringing your hands about the loss of moral language in our culture!  And its replacement with therapeutic categories of being. You talked then about how much it mattered. How about the loss of integrity on the Christian Internet when we are just beginning an interesting discussion about who should have the power to name these things, and you?  You shut it down! But perhaps my taxonomy of treachery is not appropriate — you, the reader, I give you the power to decide.

But to Whomever moderates comments, and has shut down this potentially profitable dialogue between me and ‘Not a Sole Fib’ — this moniker I call the anonymous commenter at The Gospel Coalition on Kevin DeYoungs guestblog discussing The Gospel and  ‘Mental Illness’ who has the tremendous power to discontinue discussions, and  to let his assertions remain unchallenged. Yes, he called himself  ” Sole Fidd” but  I have tweaked his name a little bit.  Because he has masked his identity, this moniker is meaningless — he might as  well have claimed to be Jesus Christ Come  From on High to Adjudicate This Debate.  That would be at least a hilariously appropriate identity that would have power to quiet any lunatics’ objections to being silenced! But his name is not connected to flesh so it is a waxed nose I may manipulate to suit my purposes,  like Psychiatry’s bible, the DSM-5 — when there are no biomarkers for supposed diseases, there is no logic and no accountability around the diagnoses. It is rabbits from hats, It is not Real.

We are considering deep questions of Knowing and Being that are certainly above my limited understanding of philosophy, and I will show you later how it is going to be very meaningful to you in my next blogpost, but here is where it Gets Real.  There are good reasons to have but limited respect for anonymous commenters on the Internet. A friend of mine named Ian Vincent, equally harmed by anonymity on the Internet, wrote these wise words about what an assumed name means:

It does mean that they don’t want any real fellowship, which means, at best, they are very immature and not qualified to teach the Body of Christ or function as an Elder.  It does mean they are avoiding being accountable, therefore they are emboldened to say wrong things bcos they think that no one will find out who they really are. It very likely means they are hiding something.  It could mean their spiritual life is more fantasy than reality.  It could mean that they think that if you found out they are just a normal Christian like you, with all the normal faults, imperfections and struggles,  then you would not be interested in them nor honor them as a great spiritual giant.”

And because anonymous commenters do not leave a trail, they can adjust the truth and even their historical record to suit their purposes — events are their own waxed nose.  Not a Sole Fib says,  “Don’t take the opinions of men too seriously – especially internet strangers who may or may not know what they are talking about and cannot walk with you, pray with you, or love you through the challenges God has put on your plate.” The irony of this comment is so rich:  where does this Internet Stranger, who was asked to unmask himself but politely declined, get off by calling me “insensitive” —  and what does he know of my real life?

So who will you trust, dear reader — ‘Not a Sole Fib’ — or me? I at least cite my sources, and my pastor said he will vouch for my character,  he said, “I let you watch my kids”.  But Not a Sole Fib  has informed the world at TGC that they cannot trust me as a source of reliable information — and reader these are not trivial issues we are discussing — life and death are literally at stake. What does ‘Not a Sole Fib’ know of how I love or pray for those  Schizophrenics who die twenty years earlier than average, and this rate has doubled since the introduction of the newer atypical antipsychotics.

And since no one gets exercised about the deaths of crazy people, here’s a fact to affect your taxpaying life, and give you an idea of the corrupt world you are dealing with: the old drugs average $10 a prescription now. The newer atypicals average cost is $600 a bottle!

But this is what I wrote, and of course I freshened it up a bit. It is better.

With all due respect Not a Sole Fib —  just as I believe the naming rights to these afflictions belong to those whose brains are tormented, so I also believe that those with lived experience should be properly listened to, and consulted as to whether we are satisfied that  the “Conversation About Mental Illness”  you are having about us, and most often apart from us –

all those privacy invading discussions you have about us in your NAMI meetings, when our families are deceitfully advised  to turn over the furniture to make it look like we are more dangerous than we really are
all those sidebars among lawyers at the  judges’ bench at commitment hearings,
and all the panel meetings of the DSM-5, where  we were allotted us two weeks to mourn our human conditions

 

All those awful closed meetings! In all of them, do you know, sometimes we sufferers  have had the temerity to think we should be allowed to decide if the discussion is really  finished, as it has everything to do with our future.  And as one who identifies with this community, I am formally retreating  from future engagement with you with those who support the lying practices of Psychiatry, tell their people those are not really broken cisterns they are drinking from.  That huge  juggernaut Saddleback has entered the discussion, right behind you, Not a Sole Fib. I know how things will go from here.

But before I leave this discussion, I still think there are still too many questions that you yourself have asked that I do not feel have been satisfactorily answered.  And in this blogpost — since you have moderated my comment indefinitely although most people will not read these ojections, I would like to speak for us,  and later I would like to make a request, especially of  pastors, who disagree with my answers. And then I will definitely get out of the way of the inevitable. I’m going outside the camp  where my people are.

 

But first, Not a Sole  Fib, you ask some wonderful questions.  So we really can’t shut down the discussion now! But don’t worry, I will keep the discussion equally collegial.  I am most interested in  these  two points –by whose authority shall those who suffer be named? And where can we more profitably locate this discussion in the Bible? I think it is interesting that Jesus always gives first naming rights to those whose brains are involved. He always respects free agency. His searching questions always lead those infirmed by sin to diagnose our own condition. Always the names we hold so dearly are uncovered by his heart-piercing  gaze, and nearly always these identities  involve idolatry, don’t they?  I do think the churches should follow his example, and give away the naming rights to those who have the greatest stake in the matter.

So I would zero in on Luke 8:30, because it is such a juicy passage, although it terrifies some. I suspected that it is why my first rough comment on this subject was moderated, but now I know there are Other Reasons. Have you ever noticed Not a Sole Fib, that Legion is never named at all  in the church’s Conversation about Mental Illness? Nor, lest some horses and grandmothers  become too alarmed,  should he be always named in these discussions.  As  Sam Storms  says on this issue

“Some are not healed because the demonic cause of the affliction has not been addressed. Please do not jump to unwarranted conclusions. I am not suggesting that all physical disease is demonically induced. It is interesting, is it not, that in Paul’s case God used “a messenger of Satan” to inflict the thorn?”

 

I am fascinated by the reasoning behind names and our fear of some names. The church has become so afraid of naming things ‘evil’. Why are we so afraid of saying Legions name? I have some ideas about that. I wrote a blogpost that examines what happens when the biblical descriptions collide with modern science, as demonstrated in the fascinating story of the woman with a “brain on fire” — classic-seeming demon possession diagnosed by medicine — she had ‘anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis’ and was treated successfully with plasma. Very interesting questions are raised. What do you think?

But for all practical purposes, I think those with the current power who make up the names, all you Thought Leaders and Mental Health Professionals, you really need to give the survivors and sufferers back our naming rights. It is part of our healing to name the thing. I would so much rather be a Magdalene slapped forever with the notorious label “She From Whom Seven Demons Were Delivered”, than be left with your own stigmatizing and dehumanizing diagnosis of  ‘Schizoaffective Disorder’– at least there is hope for a demoniac that they  can always be forever free of torment, if they keep their house clean and well ordered. Those you name ‘Mentally Ill’ and ” incurable”, for  purposes that privilege those in power — think of Szasz’ example of Drapetomania, for  example — are then left often permanently  crippled by your defective drugs, and certainly stigmatized by your permanent label of a Defective Brain.  Except those fortunate crazies living in a third world country, without any medical treatment — we know their outcome of recovery from schizophrenia without relapse is far better, according to two World Health Organization studies.

 

I myself refuse your atheistic names. It is not all about me, however. It is not even about your ‘worried well’ — they can have all the Ativan they imagine will aid them. I am sorry they are so deluded. But Jesus said,  it is the sick who need a physician.

I read about all these kind of hurting people in the secular blog “Mad in America“, which is unique in that it levels the playing field and gives away the naming rights to all those parties who are interested in the issues surrounding  Critical Psychiatry, and listens especially  respectfully to those who actually Hear Voices.

MIA does a wonderful job in offering hospitality to those who suffer the terrifying ravages of a disintegrating psyche. I am going to find out if they will be equally hospitable to me, a Christian with similar lived experience. I want to try to reach out to them, to listen to  them, and to encourage them with my own story of  complete recovery. You all should listen to these kinds of voices too. If you are interested, here is a basic primer of the language of the traumatized — that I have adjusted from Dr. Karen Purvis’ helpful axiom: “When a[person] looks crazy, he’s scared. When a [person] looks angry, he’s sad.” That’s  enough to know for now, so you don’t stop the conversation with my friends and frighten them off church completely.

I know if you spoke to them the way that Jesus did, and let them name their own infirmities, they would listen to you. I can assure you, many afflicted at Mad in America  would rather fall into the arms of Jesus —  who touched agonized people like them with authority, and then set them free–I am sure those unfortunates would rather be treated with such compassion than fall into the hands of unrighteous  men who might  force them into psych wards. Because their name for those places is ” torture chambers.” Remember! They have been there, have sat under the stark white lights of the locked wards. They get to choose the names –even for the cures. Remember, how gracious our Lord is towards our own agency?

I tell you that field is white with harvest. You Christian Thought Leaders think the world will lose respect for us if we tell them the story of Legion, and connect his case to any real condition. I think it just depends on what world you want to reach.  I am going deeper into the  world of Mad in America — I think they will appreciate my writing more than many of you do.  Please don’t frighten my friends if they visit your churches — allow them to give you their name. Please don’t force drugging on them, even if they are a harm to themselves, or to others. If they are going to harm themselves, they need friends who listen closely, and they need hope for the future. If they have harmed others, the place for them is called a  jail.

I would like to set up networks of churches that share my kind of taxonomy, so that my friends hurting from Psychiatric abuse can easily identify where their agency will be respected, and where they will feel safe– kind of like a “Joni and Friends” network — but that is a discussion for another day. Already I have gone over a thousand words.  Thanks for listening, those who have come this far!

On this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, please oppose the Murphy Bill HR #3717, because:

“People will turn away from forced and coercive services.
We need to feel safe and understood to connect with others.
We also need hope and a sense that we can get what we need.

So many difficulties arise in life,
especially when our parents, schools and communities
have their own problems and don’t understand our perspective.

Connection, unconditional positive regard,
trauma informed services and safety
must replace coercive, medical models
and forced services if we hope to help others heal.”

words of Cindy Peterson Dana, as a comment on a thread at Mad in America, titled– Murphy Bill: Violates Civil Rights, Increases Government Intrusion and Control, and Ignores Scientific Research

Heath Lambert and The Rabbits Pulled From Hats, i.e. “Psychiatric Diagnoses”

Posted April 3, 2014 by Karen Butler
Categories: Biblical Counseling, Christians and Psychotropics: An Uneasy Exchange, The Nervous Breakdown

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So David  Murray has got his Scottish up over Heath Lambert’s blog series, which begins with such a good question, “Can Jesus Heal Mental Illness?” –oh, church of little faith! Why do we doubt? That enemy stronghold will be demolished  first by destroying the lofty imaginations of the secularists, (2 Corinthians 10:4) and Lambert aids this  effort by chipping away at one of the atheist’s favorite fairy tales,  which is embedded in that word, ‘mental illness.’

Murray first came to my attention three years ago when I chided him for repeating the  outdated  myth of depressed persons and unbalanced chemistry. He had just published his book, “Christians Get Depressed, Too — and what a downer, when I saw  that canard written by a Thought Leader on this subject of mood disorders. Who should have known better. Psychiatrists have known that the low serotonin hypothesis has been dead since  the late 60’s when the people who put it forth, like Herman van Praag and Alec Coppen stopped believing it. ( See http://davidhealy.org/get-real-peter-gotzsche-responds/, and Healy’s comments of February 26.) This myth was useful to the drug companies as a marketing tool, and useful to psychiatrists in reinforcing the SSRI’s placebo effect, so it became a convenient untruth — but it was never a working hypothesis after that period.  Practicing psychiatrists were useful idiots to the drug companies, but now many of them– like the psychiatrist Ronald Pies cited in the comments of this article — are hastily backing away from it. That is chiefly due to the of the hard work of those critical of psychiatry, and we survivors of the system are especially grateful to those brave crusaders from even among their own number, psychiatrists such as Thomas Szasz  –who was the first to delineate Lambert’s controversial statement in his book, “The Myth of Mental Illness”.

The serotonin hypothesis of depression so called was dead by the late 1960s – the people who put it forward like Herman van Praag and Alec Coppen stopped believing it then.

The serotonin myth you are talking about was invented in SmithKline Beecham and other companies to market SSRIS. There was never any evidence for it – calling it a hypothesis is unwarranted.

- See more at: http://davidhealy.org/get-real-peter-gotzsche-responds/#sthash.ABini7wK.dpuf

The serotonin hypothesis of depression so called was dead by the late 1960s – the people who put it forward like Herman van Praag and Alec Coppen stopped believing it then.

The serotonin myth you are talking about was invented in SmithKline Beecham and other companies to market SSRIS. There was never any evidence for it – calling it a hypothesis is unwarranted.

- See more at: http://davidhealy.org/get-real-peter-gotzsche-responds/#sthash.ABini7wK.dpuf

The serotonin hypothesis of depression so called was dead by the late 1960s – the people who put it forward like Herman van Praag and Alec Coppen stopped believing it then.

The serotonin myth you are talking about was invented in SmithKline Beecham and other companies to market SSRIS. There was never any evidence for it – calling it a hypothesis is unwarranted.

- See more at: http://davidhealy.org/get-real-peter-gotzsche-responds/#sthash.ABini7wK.dpuf

The serotonin hypothesis of depression so called was dead by the late 1960s – the people who put it forward like Herman van Praag and Alec Coppen stopped believing it then.

The serotonin myth you are talking about was invented in SmithKline Beecham and other companies to market SSRIS. There was never any evidence for it – calling it a hypothesis is unwarranted.

- See more at: http://davidhealy.org/get-real-peter-gotzsche-responds/#sthash.ABini7wK.dpuf

I was banned outright  from Murray’s blog — I am left guessing why, as he has left me in the dark as to his motivations — when I guess my Irish got up over the  apalling lack of informed consent he demonstrated  in his blogpost “I’m Thinking of Going to the Doctor for Depression Meds.”  (I still think my indignation was appropriately righteous, and I will examine those reasons in a future blogpost, but nevertheless, I did apologize on Challies for my perhaps uncharitable spirit, but was delayed in my apology here, because of my blogfast. So I once again sincerely extend to Dr. Murray a sincere apology for any offense in the way I spoke about you on the Internet.  And I have not attempted an intended rebuttal of his irresponsible recommendations because I realize a book will be required for it to be well-understood, and not a blog soundbite.  Look at all the dander that’s up when Lambert  asserts Szazs’ widely circulated argument of the myth of mental illness! And  since Bob Kelleman sucessfully countered Murray’s callous dismissal of legitimate concerns concerning psychiatric medication’s harmful side effects, and his dangerous  legitimization of non-Christian CBT practitioners, I was able to let it rest. Kelleman has the platform I don’t have, anyway. Murray didn’t even answer my e-mail queries about why my comment was banned from  his blog, nor did he respond to my apology!

 

I am so encouraged by Lambert’s Blog Series! Here are the links so far:

Part #1:http://www.biblicalcounseling.com/blog/can-jesus-heal-mental-illness

Part #2:http://www.biblicalcounseling.com/blog/can-jesus-heal-mental-illness-2

Part #3: http://www.biblicalcounseling.com/blog/can-jesus-heal-mental-illness-3

Part #4 :http://www.biblicalcounseling.com/blog/can-jesus-heal-mental-illness-4

Lambert speaks so well on the subject that hardly more needs to be said, but I am reprinting and expanding on  some of the comments I made on the Gospel Coalition Blog, and of course I defend Lambert’s position  — but I had begin by  chiding some for being as hasty and uncharitable as Murray was with their objections to the article. I agree with Lambert, we can do better than this in speaking truth with love. Even in the Internet age.

 

I have updated my comments on DeYoungs’ guestblog with new information about Heliobacter pylori — it was a specious argument denying the validity of the NANC approach, and I added a plea for  Mental Health Professionals especially, to educate themselves with better science and a more understanding  contextualization of the Gospel towards those sufferers of  ‘Mental Illness’ who are part of the Critical Psychiatry network. I said,

Lambert is in the process of developing an extremely nuanced argument, and I am sure he will account for biological factors in mental disorders. But still, his arguments are valid — there is no such thing as a mental illness! When mental disorders begin to be medical in etiology, they magically disappear from the DSM. That is Lambert’s  major point: psychiatric diagnoses are a construct of language — and I would add– of power.

Some have used the discovery of  Helicobacter pylori and its relationship to gut health to deride a Christian counselors focus  on prayer and Scripture, and to discredit Lambert’s  position that Jesus alone can heal mental disorders.  Although these stomach bacteria may cause ulcers and cancer, they are also recently discovered to be highly beneficial as well, as they are found in healthy people all over the world, and are proven to protect children from asthma and hay fever, according to Microbiologist Martin Blauser of NYU.  So the origins story sometimes is complicated, and sometimes irrelevant, as I discuss in this post. Ulcers are an evil!  Ulcers cause suffering. Let’s speedily deliver people from suffering, shall we?  There is no doubt, however in this relevant fact: that stress exacerbates the terrible pain people feel from ulcers, and therefore no harm was ever done to any sufferer of stomach bacteria, and certainly much succor was found in meditating on passages of the Bible that deal with fear and pain. And prayer helped the afflicted to endure and suffer well until a real cure was reached for their infirmity, as it has done for centuries.

But because of the coercive nature of psychiatric power, much harm has been done to the sufferers of psychic pain at the hands of psychiatry, with its scientifically unverifiable labels that stigmatize. And I think this is at the core of the pain felt by those who would be free of this inhumane and atheistic paradigm. Susan Beachy is the mother of a student who gave up on life after receiving an incorrect diagnoses of schizophrenia after a single psychotic episode in response to the stress of 9/11 — which in previous generations would have been understood to be a simple nervous breakdown, and fully recoverable. She poignantly said:

“Being told that mental illness is like diabetes is misleading and discouraging. This is not a fair comparison.  Diabetes is due to a well understood defect in a body part, the pancreas. Mental illness, on the other hand, literally means that your mind is sick. Your mind, unlike your pancreas, is not just a body part. Your mind enables you to relate, set goals, dream, and have hope. If you and the people around you believe that your mind will be defective and sick for the rest of your life, you are left without hope of ever having the agency to build a life…We need not burden distressed young people with hope-sucking labels of chronic mental defect. There is a better way.”

Psychiatry is not valid science. Its diagnoses are voted in and out of the DSM by a messy and rancorous process. Here is a lengthy article that traces the history of the construct of mental “illness”,going from the first DSM, with its diagnostic conception of maladaptive behaviors in response to stressors –and thus a disorder would be described as “schizophrenic reaction” — to the biologically derived model that began in the next edition and that is fully developed as a biological illness in today’s highly controversial DSM-5. The irony is, once biological markers *are* found for any illness in the DSM, it is dropped as a ‘mental illness’! Look at the history of Retts Syndrome: when its genetic cause and neurological etiology was finally understood, it was dropped from the Autism spectrum disorder, and thus from the manual.

In other words, psychiatric diagnoses without real biological markers is just pulling rabbits out of hats.

Here, I made another  comment on this guestblog,  debunking the usual narrative of the efficacy of psychotropic drugs:

The writer says, Medication can be helpful for treating physical symptoms in things like depression or anxiety…”

But where is the science backing this statement? I don’t understand this statement at all, when Irving Kirsch’s study sixteen years ago demonstrated a completely different truth, that none of the SSRI’s performed better than placebo, and that the herbal remedy St. Johns Wort — examined in that same study — did just as well as Prozac. So is it the antidepressant ‘St. John’s Wort’, with its minimal risk, that you are recommending? I hope so! https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/60-minutes-the-ssris-and-the-dirty-little-secret-2/?

And most anti-anxiety meds,like the commonly prescribed benzodiazapines, though helpful in an emergency, are extremely addictive and difficult to taper from. Here is one womans’ plea to her psychiatrist for greater informed consent in prescribing these meds, that in the long term, inhibit learning new and healthy patterns with anxiety.

Psychiatrist Sandra Steingard — who is not anti-medication, but uses it judiciously, giving her patients *informed consent* in her practice at a community health center — has this to say about the atypical antipsychotics, “the major outcome was that these drugs were not found to be effective or safe” after examining a major study co-authored by the then president of the APA, who said

 

“the results of our study are sobering.”

“there was no significant improvement in BPRS total or psychosis subscale scores over a 6 month period.”

“the overall risk-benefit ratio for the atypical antipsychotics in patients over age 40 was not favorable, irrespective of diagnosis and drug.”

 

 

Steingard is rightly critical of the current paradigms in psychiatry, and her mind was changed after reading Robert Whittakers’ groundbreaking book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” A shorter pdf is free online at his helpful website, “Mad in America” that has tapering information and resources for those battling these stigmatizing psychiatric labels, and cutting edge journalism that delineates this new psychiatric paradigm for treatment.  We have an amazingly open window for ministry, church! It is like the fall of the Soviet Bloc or the opening of the bamboo curtain. We need to create safe places for those greatly harmed by coercive psychiatry to come for real soul and body healing. They will not respond well to pastors who minimize the devastating effects of the psychiatric drugs they themselves have experienced. Heath Lambert is right: Jesus can heal mental illness. He healed my devastating case of post-partum psychosis — without the mind crippling drugs.  

My hope and prayer is that the the voices of the psychiatric survivor movement would  finally be heard in the Christian community, and that the agency they cherish over their own bodies will be respected — oh that they would give up the convenient marginalization of labels like “mentally ill” —  and do the harder work of effective hospitality aimed towards their real needs. I think it is well past time for  Christian Mental Health Professionals  to agree with one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, ‘The Lancet’ which has said, “it is time to flush the drugs” It is also time to stop the coercion and the silencing of their anguished voices of dissent. We are missing a wonderfully opportune time to minister to those who suffer, when the best alternatives being offered by the world to those in confusion about psychotropics are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eastern mindfulness exercises, and similar tools borrowed from the New Age. We have the Good News of the Great Physician, and  we have beseeching prayer–we can do better.

 

 

A Dying Dream?

Posted March 7, 2014 by Karen Butler
Categories: Grief

Tags: , , , , ,

Oh little band of faithful readers, I haven’t been depressed and disconsolate and ready to do myself in. I disappeared here for a time because  I joined with my church in a 21 day fast, and part of what seemed best during this season was  for me to abstain from  blogging  and commenting on blogs,  and I wanted to pray  for God’s direction about my writing in general.  Because  I have a dream to write a book.

So I was thinking of hopping onto the star-making machinery to go market myself at Mt. Hermon next month, because I think I have a compelling and important story to tell — and for any agents or editors out there in Interwebsland, here is my one sentence pitch:  my book is about the problems of  informed consent among Christians regarding psychiatric treatment,  why Critical Psychiatry is so distrusted among the “mental illness” gatekeepers in the Church,  and threaded through the book will be compelling testimonies from the Psychiatric  Survivor movement, including my own, and some of my family.  But  right now, I do not think I have the stomach for this monumental task.

Not now, not during this tumultuous time of great changes in my life, and not since I heard about the scandalous gaming of the bestseller lists reported by World magazine, here. It is so deeply disturbing to those of us who love books and respect deeply those who so carefully craft them. Jared Wilson ably sums up the problems this creates for would be writers, and I added my comments to the meta there, and this post is an expansion of some of my thoughts. Jared describes my dilemma:

 adding the dishonesty of system-gaming to the dishonesty of ghostwriting further hinders the work of real artists who are getting crowded out of the marketplace.

I feel crowded out. I know that even if I screwed up all my courage to the sticking place, and  I went  to the Mt Hermon Writer’s Conference, my book proposal would be rejected. I would be asked to develop my platform before they could even consider me as a potential author. But I am no good at being busy and witty, so I would stink at Twitter. Facebook is a huge distraction for an inveterate people-watcher like me. Pinterest is a little too twee for my kind of content, and I don’t want to go all PioneerWoman on my blog.  So what’s an outlier like me to do?

“Sometimes we have to let our dreams die.
And that’s okay. We will be okay.”

So I am doubly grateful to Jared Wilson, for those  words above which enabled me to still rejoice in the Lord  when I realized the  windows of Heaven weren’t opening the way I thought they would.  Now, if the whole building falls down…but for the time being, I will continue to write and speak. I will continue to dream big.  The dream may end stillborn, because the whole ecology of Christian publishing is terribly polluted, so that the vitality of the body of Christ is withering away and  important and prophetic voices are not being heard. Whatever else you think of Scot McKnight, he is right about platform and publishing.

But there is  a hidden beauty  in a dead dream, even in a pile of smoking ashes at the altar of a mighty God. Our dreams live on in heaven, if they are part of the living sacrifice we make of ourselves, everyday– every moment if we seek to live fully for him because we live in the light of what Jesus has already done for us at the Cross. The grey debris of our dreams have been transformed into beauty, they are jewels we will wear in our crowns for all eternity. Or they may be a different kind of glistening jewel,  they are the tears he has saved in his bottle, and he alone knows the purpose he has for their keeping. He knows our hearts, he knows that if our motivation in dreaming those great things was for his glory,  it is as if the work were actually done. And he is sovereign. If he says “no” to our living this dream — then we know it is for our good and his glory.

What a comfort this is to me now, as I offer up myself, even now a holy sacrifice. It is really a reasonable service, and the only spiritual worship.


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