a story from years ago during my counseling career...seems like a lifetime ago...
"Matt’s teddybear bulk sidled into my office and he whispered, “Haydee needs you…she’s freaking out.” I interrupted my conversation with my doctora friend and asked with an edge in my voice, “What happened?”
Haydee is a bipolar counselee of mine with whom I have been working for about 6 months. She’s had unstable periods before but I’ve never seen Matt with this kind of look on his face- he was the one who brought her to me when he realized his counseling skills were not up to dealing with this girl.
The story came out…she had left the house in her nightgown and slippers and was standing in the foyer of a church many kilometers from her house. She was wild, angry, screaming at him on the cell phone. He didn’t know what to do. Curiously enough, in a classic God-incidence, my doctora friend was right there and was willing to go with her son and daughter-in-law and fetch her and bring her to the church. Off they went, Matt’s face pale and his eyes filled with guarded trepidation…
An hour or so later they were back, Haydee in tow. Sweaty, disheveled, angry, ashamed, but her eyes flashing that manic look I had learned to recognize. We shepherded her into my pink office where she had spent so many hours praying, weeping, receiving healing, and being encouraged. This time was different. “I have faith! “ she declared. “The demons in my house are out to kill me, my family wants to kill me, I just need a place to sleep for a while and then I will declare that I am a new Haydee, no longer bipolar, but healed!” Doctora and I confronted her faulty logic little by little and gradually she agreed that I could call her father to come and get her. I left her in Dra.’s arms weeping as I went out to call her dad.
Poor man…he was distraught. With shaking voice he told me of the altercation earlier in the day. How his wife, also bipolar, was in bed and wouldn’t get up…how he was jobless and had no money to buy their needed medications. I encouraged him and said that we would make sure Haydee got home safely and we were available for any help they might need in the future. He was so grateful.
I wrapped one of my blankets around Haydee’s shoulders and tucked a snuggly teddybear into her arms for the ride home, again courtesy of Drs’s “ambulance”. Matt went along and promised to talk to her dad and pray in the house to fill it with the presence of Jesus.
Matt called later and said with relief in his voice, “Package delivered!” We laughed and cried with relief and agreed that Jesus had guided us this day and that we had done a good thing. Haydee is just one of the many wounded and broken ones who drift up on our shores. Abused, rejected, sick, hurting…like so many others. Jesus’ love constrains us to put our arms around them and in practical ways minister to them on their healing journey. Jesus’ love is unconditional…
“Can I come back? Will you still love me?” Haydee asked me in a shaky little-girl voice as I led her downstairs to the waiting car.
“Always” was my reply. “Always”.