Saturday, January 30, 2010

When Eviction is a Blessing

Prayers I hadn't yet prayed were answered today.  

Furball and I braved treacherous, unpredicted snow and a slippery mountain to remove JSB's belongings from his apartment.  Once again to be put in storage as part of the recurring  six-to-eight-month cycle of living in an apartment, involuntary commitment, long-term hospitalization.

We are determined to break this cycle, Furball and I.  But JSB thinks he can give it a try one more time on his own.  "Just one more time, mom, I know I can do it this time...."

Our plan was to get his things out and tell JSB he was evicted.  Then deal with the apartment rental company to get out of his lease.  You see, mental health services are easier to obtain if one is homeless.  Because, I guess, then it's an "emergency."   I'm not going to get started on the mental health laws and funding for services today.  Some day I just might blog on that.

Lo and behold, what greets us posted to JSB's door today?  Notice of Eviction.  Yay.

JSB, now recovering at State Mental Hospital, is in a kind of exile.  

I try to seek guidance in scripture when I struggle over anything.  Good old EFM taught the art of Theological Reflection.

I decided to take a look at some Old Testament Exile - since JSB is in a kind of exile, a No-Man's Land of homelessness and illness.  In my search, Jeremiah popped up.  Jeremiah has been popping up a lot with me.  He's kind of stalking me, so I think I need to listen. 

I've been paying more attention to this Prophet lately, trying to figure out how this Old Testament Prophet speaks to me through Scripture today.  What is the message for me and for JSB?

In his call to the exiles in Babylon, he wrote:

Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." 

He told them to find peace in their city of exile.  They were going to be there for a long time.  I can pray that for JSB.  Instead of continually trying to live without support, find peace in your exile, JSB.  I've had to learn to seek the peace and prosperity of this exile as well.  In a different form, I experience JSB's exile with him.  Jeremiah experienced exile along with those to whom he would prophesy.

Another important thing to note is that Jeremiah called on the Diaspora to return to God and to rely solely on God.   They no longer were a sovereign nation, but lost in a foreign land, in exile.  He called on them to turn their faces and hearts to God, and God would not forsake them.

So, my dear JSB, my prayer for you is to listen to the Call of Jeremiah.  He knew those in exile couldn't do it alone.  He pointed to Christ, as he does in this icon, and tried to convince them to rely on God and only God.  They could prosper in exile.  So can you.  If only you realize you can't do it alone.  

So this is my prayer for JSB.  That he finds peace and wholeness in his exile, that he turns back to God, and finds prosperity in a land flowing with milk and honey.   

Pray for me, that I may have the grace of faith to believe this shall come to pass. 


  1. Thanks for the encouragement:)

  2. 1. You should go to and join those working on this issue.
    2. You may want to read PAstor Waterhouse' book "Strength for his people" a book about mental illness among the devout.

  3. Thanks, DJ. I am a member of Treatment Advocacy Center, but haven't spoken to anyone there. Now would be a very good time to do that. Thanks for the tip on the book. I'm going to check it out now. Thanks for stopping by:)

  4. Prayers continue. Jeremiah is a wonderful resource...all about the long haul, and not the quick fix, isn't he, and about trying to find the words to advocate effectively. Lots of good stuff there.

    Stay dry and warm and know that you and Furball and Ponygirl and JSB are loved.

  5. Thanks so much. It's funny, I don't know that much about Jeremiah, but God keeps sending him to me in many different forms. It's pretty amazing.

    We delight in your love and covet your prayers:)


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