18 years ago, on September 11, 2001 at 9:41:15 a.m Richard Drew captured a photograph of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
There was one hour between the time the plane crashed into the North Tower and the time this unknown man jumped from the burning building.
For one hour he fought through uncertainty, chaos, and absolute terror. He lived for an hour in a world very few of us will ever experience.
And then… in a situation we can only imagine… this man saw no other escape from the flames or the heat or the smoke… and he jumped.
What a tragic thing for there to be so little hope of rescue or relief that death was the only escape.
Yet this same hopelessness reaches across the world into homes, neighborhoods, business and even churches.
Sometimes, burning buildings don’t look like burning buildings. Sometimes burning buildings look like people we love.
Most of us won’t ever understand the invisible inferno that those who lose their lives to mental illness experience. We can’t see their flames or understand the chaos in their minds. We can’t see the years the building has been on fire. There doesn’t seem to be a hope of either rescue or relief.
We just don’t know. As someone who has fought anxiety most of my life, there are still some aspects of mental illness I struggle to personally understand.
But not understanding isn’t an option anymore. It just isn’t. Not for me. Not for you.
Break the Stigma
Church, we have to fight to understand. There have been many in the last few years who have fought to break the stigma surrounding mental illness. But we have to go farther.
We have to become those who help put out invisible fires. Because if Jesus came to heal those who are sick, He meant those who have sicknesses we cannot see as well.
Becky Thompson is a blogger and author of three books. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children. Becky wrote this post when Pastor Jarrid Wilson died by suicide. Jarrid was an associate pastor at a church in Southern California. He was open about his fight against anxiety and depression. He ran a ministry called “Anthem of Hope” for those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Jarrid was so much to so many.
Read Becky’s post here.
APPLICATION: Please read Becky’s post and leave a comment below. Thank you.
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