I wonder what you thought when you saw the title of this post and that it was about family?
Did you think, “Oh here goes, another blogger posting pics of his family?” or that perhaps I would be showing cute pictures of fluffy little bunny rabbits to emphasise that we all need someone? Maybe you thought you were going to be shown pictures of orphans, hear sound-bites of kids looking to be adopted?
If you have been following my journey through this Passions Profile Challenge, you will know that I have already covered my own family and so no there will be no pictures of my family in this post.
And actually cute fluffy bunnies are not my style. Likewise, whilst I am totally aware of the serious need out there for more people to consider the plight of the world’s orphans I can assure you there will be no heart-tugging, tear-jerking soundbites, video clips or stories of children who are unloved.
THe truth is that before I became so ill I used to work within the social care sector and in that role I worked for a Christian organisation ministering to folk with mental health difficulties, teenage runaways, single parent families and the street homeless.
Having been street homeless myself for several months when much younger and having my own battles with mental illness it was a work and aI was so very passionate about and am still so very passionate about. Being able to work in that field as a Christian for a Christian organisation just made it all the more better.
Ask any worker who works with the young street homeless, with cast off children, with orphans and they will soon tell you the most commonly asked questions…
Where did I come from?
Why didn’t they want me?
Why didn’t they love me?
Why didn’t don’t or can’t I belong?
And trust me when you sit with a street hardened teenage drug addict and look into the depths of sadness held within their eyes and hear them crying out those words it hit you and they hit you hard.
But is it only the young who need family?
THis is a mental health blog and I write mainly about mental health. But as you probably have guessed already I am a Christian and whilst I try to keep the sharing of my CHristian beliefs to a minimum on this particular blog, there are times when I can not remain silent and the cross over between my mental health and my faith has to be allowed to be apparent.
As a Christian I fully and totally believe that God desires for each and every one of us to be in a family. Even the Godhead, the Holy Trinity, in my eyes, speaks to us about family.
As a former social care practitioner and one who worked with mental health clients I know only too well the devastating effect that poor mental health and mental illness can have on families.
I am blessed and I don’t mind admitting it. I have a biological family and an adopted family. In truth, and I mean no slant here, my adopted family understand my mental health far better than my biological family, but either way they both love me and I appreciate that.
But in that I am not only blessed but unusual and not everyone is as fortunate as I have been.
In a world where immediacy, instant gratification, selfish desire, convenience and disposability seem to be the watch-words of the day I have all too often witnessed how even children, are disposable nowadays and where designer-style and aesthetics have infiltrated the acceptability and worth of our young.
‘It takes a village to raise a child’ the popular saying goes and I have no problem with that statement. But in my heart I believe it takes just one single individual, one person with a heart, to invite others to join with him or her and to form that village, to become that family.
Is it just our children, our young people who need a family? Or are there others out there who are feeling so lonely, so loveless, so vulnerable and so desperately unhappy and who need that tenderness, that caring, that acceptance?
Tomorrow morning when you go for a walk, drive past people on the street, take the bus or the tube or the train, look around you at those you are passing by. Think back on all those people you have met but don’t see or hear of any more. Consider, if you will, the authors of the blogs that you read or follow who seem to be struggling and alone.
When I began this post I promised you no fluffy bunny pictures, no sound bites of children looking for a family, no pictures of my family. And I will stay true to that promise. But I did want to share one video clip with you and I hope you will understand why.
Don’t worry, it isn’t of some war-torn country, or poverty striken community. As promised it isn’t of children begging to be adopted or to be loved. Well not young children anyway. It is something entirely different.
Actually it is a video clip which speaks to me as a Christian and I sincerely hope that if you are not a Christian you will not let that put you off. Because equally it speaks to me also as someone who suffers from mental health problems.
So I urge you to watch it and to listen carefully to the words spoken. To listen with your heart and to respond also with your heart. It is one video about one man, one man who faces mental health related issues. But in truth it could be about so many.
It is about family. I am, as I hope you can tell from this posting, passionate about family and I hope from this clip you can understand why…
At the end of this clip he goes off onto a tangent some may find uninteresting but that isn’t the part that I wanted folk to hear and to really respond to.