This month has entailed so many rich, full events that God has blessed me through in different ways. We have met this man in our neighborhood who gardens with us on Saturdays. He was absent for a couple weeks, but made an appearance this week. I got to chat with him about why he was gone and he’d mentioned he was in the hospital due to some mental illness problems. As soon as he mentioned that, my heart instantly opened and I began to share my story. As some of you may or may not know, my brother Blake dealt with severe mental illness and anxiety.
After sharing this with him, he opened up more to me and had said he was in the hospital for a suicide attempt. He shared that he also is bi-polar, clinically depressed, schizophrenic, and suffers from PTSD from a traumatic event in his childhood. I got to share my own personal grief journey with him and about the passing of my brother. I said I would be praying for him. As we continued gardening, he asked me for $6 so he could get his prescriptions and I knew he was telling the truth because $6 was the cost of most of my brother’s medicines. I told him I could do that and he was very thankful and appreciative.
He introduced me to his wife and the three of us walked to the farmers market. It was a beautiful sunny day. I shared with his wife parts of my story including my brother and also briefing them both about Mission Year and why I’m here in Philly.
I am eternally grateful for the suffering in my life that has transformed into victory to share with others. God is so good. This man’s birthday is coming up, he will be 41 at the end of November. I told him how proud of him I was for dealing with all these problems his whole life.
Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo and Heidi Schwartz
Colin Claud is a current Hunting Park, Philly Mission Year team member. He is originally from St. Charles, IL. Support him and learn more by visiting his donation page.