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I know there’s a meaning to it all
A little resurrection every time I fall
(Vice Verses, Switchfoot)

White sangria and half-moon orange slices with flickering candles in the backdrop. A guitar is releasing clouds of melody at the front of the restaurant, and soon to follow is a succulent Italian feast in the company of a special friend. The perfect ending to a productive work week.

What a luxury–not only the event, but primarily the completion of a work week.

Good health…good mental health…when you fight for it for so long, feels like a luxury when you look back and you realize you’ve been well for years. The passing of the storm leaves remnant feelings of guilt and self-indulgence. It almost feels ostentatious to not be ankle-deep in the quicksand of clinical depression.

Sadly, it has become too easy to equate good health and peace with never looking back to physically lend a compassionate hand to those going through exactly the same, dark journey that plagued me for years. To return back and offer that “comfort [to another] with the comfort I’ve been given” as per Paul–not just in written form, but by offering present support and a shoulder to cry on or even to sit in silence with someone as broken as I was when my friends and family sat in silence with me–that has not been as easy as I thought it would be.

I thought it would be natural to want to serve out of personal experience and concern alone.

Moving on with life in good health has been synonymous at times with blatant avoidance of any semblance of deep pain, even in someone else. Even in someone who is hurting as deeply as I was almost three years ago.

How quickly I forget.

In the worst of times–when bipolar disorder was barreling through every aspect of my life like a twister through Tornado Alley–I remember hearing “Vice Verses” by Switchfoot. The song instantly resonated with me; specifically the lines:

I know there’s a meaning to it all

A little resurrection every time I fall

That last line…”a little resurrection every time I fall”…that has become paramount to my existence. God has made it so. Every time illness has torn through my existence, there was a little resurrection every time I fall. Essentially, God willed that I become resilient. And apparently the only way to accomplish that was to regain what I’d lost, several times over, in ways that were nothing short of supernatural.

Tonight, as I casually enjoyed ricotta cheesecake and a macchiato at dinner and talked about this very subject, it struck me that to withhold comfort from another…the same comfort that was given to me…renders me thankless. It makes me no different from the lepers who did not return to thank Jesus.

Resilience is great, but the language of gratitude is service.

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. (John 21:16 NLT)

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