Madness Is Like Gravity

How fragile the mind can be…Yesterday I saw the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, with Emily (my daughter) and Rich (my husband), just so I could do something with them, not because I wanted to see the movie, quite frankly… As you might guess, it is a dark and complex story with twists and turns at every corner.

The main archenemy of Batman is The Joker (pictured above)—a psychotic criminal who desires little more than to create chaos, snap other minds into his likeness and watch the world burn (a satanic figure if there ever was one). One of The Joker\’s lines that struck me and stuck was \”Madness, as you know, is like gravity–all it takes is a little push.\” (The irony in this is that Heath Ledger\’s last acting role was The Joker–it may be that \”being\” The Joker was the \”little push\” he needed to snap and commit suicide…). The other thing that stuck with me this weekend that may not seem related, but in my pea brain it is, is the number of blown tires Em and I saw on the eight hour trip home from Chicago.

As I understand it, tire pressure increases on hot summer days due to the hot weather (air expands in heat) and due to the heat from the friction of the tire on the road. At least half a dozen times Em and I saw chucks of tire on the road and then a little ways down, someone over on the shoulder with a very flat tire. Also, as I understand it, mental illness can come on when life gets to be too much, the pressure and stress is too great (\”a little push\” sends us over the edge). We can\’t take the heat, our defenses are low, so we \”pop\” and our mind splinters into chunks that litter the roadway of our life. We may hobble along with a donut tire for awhile (i.e. medication), but unless we find a way to wholeness and be willing to change, we may end up agoin\’ nowhere spiritually. We may end up camped out alongside the road of life…probably functioning on some (or many) levels, but inert…with our backs facing reality and God held at an arm\’s length.

This all hits near and dear to my heart as a relative who is pretty severely mentally ill and alcoholic is sitting on the edge, the pressure is great. I recoil in horror as he has become psychotic before and literally terrorized someone dear to me. The prospect of this happening again makes me shudder, yet bailing him out of circumstances that his own very poor choices have created would be nothing short of enabling him and perpetuating the behavior. Swooping in and rescuing the other one, the one dear to me, would do little more than enable her co-dependency issues–she needs to make her own decisions, she has options. Repentance is key if there is going to be a life-giving, growthful, hopeful tomorrow…

So, I sit at the feet of Jesus and await His instruction and ask for His mercy, whatever that looks like in this situation. I cannot say what will happen, but I do know that no matter what, that God is, and that no healing is beyond His ability…if we only turn…

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