While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:10-13


I guess I’ve been angry far too long about how people with mental health problems are regarded. But I don’t want to stay angry. I want to reflect God’s love to those who need it. That’s hard to do when your heart is filled with bitterness.

Stigma is such an ugly topic. No one wants to hear about it. It spells ugliness and sinfulness. Darkness. Can a spirit be lifted by such talk?

I don’t feel like an outcast any longer, but memories linger. And I know that many suffer in this way.

Lord Jesus, help me show how you feel about people with illnesses like mine. It occurred in your time as well. The sick, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, tax collectors. All those considered different, All those not fitting in. They were not included by the community. But you accepted them. You loved them.

People like me are the outcasts of today. But you believe in us, Lord. You call us to follow you, in the way you call everyone to follow you. Motivated by compassion and love, you want us for your own.

How can we—through you, Jesus—change opinions about people like me? Our hearts and our minds long for the acceptance and love of our brothers and sisters. We want to be known. We want to be cheered on as we discover our gifts—gifts to use in service to God. We want to serve as others serve.

One thing is certain: you love us.

Jesus loves us, this I know.