And yet, wouldn't Jesus have wrestled with the mess? Wouldn't he have gotten his hands dirty, as he does in healing the Man Born Blind? ("He spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man's eyes," Jn. 9:6, NRSV.)
I know from personal experience that mental illness is scary. It can frighten the people who suffer from it, those around them, and anyone caught in its orbit.
It would be easy to back away, to wash our hands, or to blame the sufferer. In fact, that's what we typically do.
But Jesus offers us the challenge of blameless love, of compassion that accompanies the suffering.
And Troubled Minds gives us the tools to understand and the encouragement to act as Christ would have us act in response to mental illness. I hope it is widely read by church leaders and laypeople, and that it prompts the open and loving conversations that could save lives and souls.
For more conversation on mental illness and the Church, visit the Patheos Book Club here.