Authentic Attention

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The neighborhoods I frequent in order to make friends with God host many men and women who have long conversations with themselves and scream at invisible antagonists. Their minds are mush from birth, from abuse, from profuse amounts of inebriants, or all of the above. These are sinking shipwrecked humans with not much left of the vessel. Demons hide in the hull of many of these precious souls.

Though obscured by their psychoses, they still bear the mark of the Creator’s image, and are loved in heaven, where – if they arrive there someday – their minds and social capabilities will be reassembled and perfected. In the meantime, they need to be told that the Perfecter loves them. But maybe more than that, they’re dying (literally) to be shown authentic and affectionate attention.

– Originally published in The Other End of the Dark: A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway (the profits of which go to Freedom House).

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