In 1993, I answered God’s call to do all I could to build mental health awareness—a few years later focusing on the Church. I thought that if anyone could show the love of Christ, members of his Church could. They just need to understand what living with a mental illness is like. And I let them know.

Without shame, I wrote and spoke widely everywhere I could as a person who had a heart for God and wanted other Christians to bring the love of Jesus to people like herself. Thanks to God, I did make a difference.

Through the Living Room groups I established, members were spiritually fed and found a measure of healing. Although the groups were for people with mental health issues, the focus was on Jesus and his love and compassion. Participants were encouraged in their faith.

In 2015, poor health caused me to retire. A few years later, the Living Room ministry, now under the care of another ministry, was disbanded. That marked the end of Christ’s love being part of the efforts to help people with mental health issues find healing.

In the push to raise Church awareness we are taught what mental illness is. But we’ll see that Jesus did not teach about leprosy, or blindness. His attention was on healing those who suffered.

So should we, as followers of Christ, not place the focus on what mental illness is. Secular agencies already do a good job of that. The Church’s role—like Christ’s—should be on the spiritual food it could share with those who need it.

People with illnesses like mine need God more than anything. The Church must not let them down.

God brought me another call this week. And that’s to bring Jesus back to the church’s efforts to improve the lives of people with mental health issues. It’s one I happily accept.

I invite those who feel the same to join me.