Many years ago, when I first came into recovery from addiction, I was a client of a psychiatric physicians assistant at a VA community based outpatient clinic. One day when I was seeing the PA he told me that there had been numerous times he had allowed me to go home and then he went home and did not sleep for fear I would harm myself. Today, I had a person bring that home to me.
Like most of you I was at church today, when a friend approached me and asked me to speak with a new man who had just entered through another door. He introduced me to the gentleman and I could instantly see that he was in distress. I did an assessment and detertmined that he was not suicidal, but he was deeply depressed. I asked him if he could enter a safety pact with me, which is standard procedure at my employment if the client does not voice suicidal intent. The gentleman assured me that if he became suicidal he would go to the emergency room or call 911. The whole incident has haunted me all evening and I remembered what the PA had said to me that day many years ago. I would like to ask all of you who do Christian counseling to pray for the gentleman I worked with today. While he did not overtly express any intent to harm himself, I could read the pain and despair in his eyes and in his voice. I asked him if he was saved and he said that he had been a Christian at one time, but had walked away. I encouraged him to recommit right then but he refused. Our pastor preached a very good sermon and presented the gospel splendidly. The invitation was given and even prolonged but no answer.
I can say that I was honestly seriously concerned for him. How many times in my past have I sent mental health providers home worrying about me like this? May God forgive me for ever putting them through it!