Listen to me!!! The sister of an unstable woman tried to warn police. She told authorities that her sister was, “talking about demons prior to leaving the residence with her three young children.”
The NY Daily News article provides the account of what happened next. The police followed up and stopped Wilkerson’s car. They found no evidence of an unstable woman at the wheel. She appeared calm and the children seemed happy. The officer sent her on her way. Unfortunately, symptoms of mental illness (MI) aren’t always recognized by strangers—even officials.
Wilkerson’s sister had every reason to be concerned. She sensed doom.
Hours later, bystanders watched in horror as Wilkerson drove her SUV directly into the ocean. Witnesses heard the children’s screams for help and sprang into action. Ordinary onlookers sprinted toward the SUV. Hurdling over waves, they reached the vehicle before it got swept into the ocean. Thankfully, those bystanders rescued all three children. Just before waves engulfed the vehicle and swept it away.
The outcome could have been tragic. Why didn’t the authorities heed the sister’s warning? Ineffective laws prevent authorities from taking action when a family member senses danger. Often the danger isn’t apparent to others.
When we’re brave enough to reach out to others, do they understand? Usually not. How can they? Should we expect them to know what it’s like to live with someone who denies having MI and refuses treatment? Would they be able to comprehend our sense of helplessness? Sometimes relatives or church members even blame us for our child’s behaviors. Little do they know how much we invest into the lives of our kids with MI. How hard we try. How much we pray. How often we cry.
Some of us get to the point when we realize our own need for help. Does reaching out help? Sometimes. Some of us have found well-qualified health professionals. Perhaps you’re like many who have taken your child to several doctors and received a different diagnosis from each.
Or maybe you’ve mustered the courage to confide in others. Only to discover that even relatives or church members misunderstand. Instead of support, they pile on blame.
Are you tempted to drive into the ocean of despair? See Christ in your storm of life and reach out to Him.
Reaching out to God always helps! Our heavenly Father is in the business of rescuing His people. When Pharaoh’s chariots pursued the Israelites, God parted the Red Sea.
God’s people rejoiced and sang, “I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.
“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
“Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
“The Lord reigns for ever and ever. (Exodus 15:1-2, 11, 18)”
Aaron Keyes wrote about God’s power in ‘Song of Moses.’ See if you can relate to those lyrics:
Though the storms of hell pursue, In darkest night we worship You
You divide the raging sea, From death to life You safely lead
Oh praise the Lord our mighty warrior
Praise the Lord the glorious one
By his hand we stand in victory
By his name we’ve overcome
Life will not engulf us. We will not drown in MI. In our darkest night we CAN worship Him. By His hand, we’ll stand in victory.
Let those lyrics minister to you.