Passage – 1 Samuel 22:2
Cam starts with a story about a time when his family was on vacation in Kihei, Maui. On New Year’s Day they received news that Cam’s brother Wes had died at 40.
Cam’s brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he struggled with drug use, and he struggled with relationships. Cam discusses his family dynamic when living with this challenge.
Mental health: what is the role of the church?
The real question is “how do we love well?”
History of the early King of Israel, David
In 1 Sam 22:2, it talks about “all those in distress…gathered around [David]” the future king. David is on the run from the current king who wants to kill him. David was a threat to the current king.
David, the man with a great life that turned into a downward spiral
David was an assistant to the king Saul. He was trusted by the king. He had status in society. Then when it was determined by God that David would be the new king, Saul decided to kill David. David must flee! Everything was going wrong!
Psalm 142 – when life is bad
David wrote this psalm in the cave while hiding from Saul, the current king. It must have felt to David like this period in his life went on and on and on. His family and children end up getting captured and David weeps until he can no longer cry. David is at rock bottom, hiding in a cave.
Meet me in the Cave
How can we “meet” those who are in their lowest lows? Here are five ingredients for successfully “loving well:”
- Loving well identifies with the human condition. We are broken people who live in this sin filled world. We need to be aware of the human condition that is all around us. We must not discriminate against things that have received a stigma.
- Loving well creates space for all. Through acceptance we create a sense of belonging. But usually within our church we can create an “us and them” mentality. Our challenge is to always create spaces. This doesn’t mean we are always attempting to “fix” everyone. Instead we are always trying to come alongside and be present for the journey.
- Loving well requires brokenness. Cam shares a personal story. Cam reminds us that we all will experience pain and brokenness. If he haven’t yet, we will. Jesus did his most amazing work when he took all of our sin, pain, sorrow, when he hung on the cross. Jesus was in “our brokenness.”
- Loving well understands the healing power of relationships. It is proven that having a friend helps in the process of mental health healing. There is something magical about a friend.
- Loving well believes recovery is possible. We must never give up hope that a person can be recovered. Our God is a God of restoration. There is hope.
We must remember it is important to meet people where they are at, but it is equally important not to leave them where they are at.
About the speaker
Cam Keller is a partner at SouthRidge and has served on our board. He is the husband to Shanalisa, and father of two children. He is also a dynamic and passionate adviser, leadership coach, consultant, and avid motorbike rider. He has taught courses on Mental Illness for the SouthRidge University program.