“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3 (NRSV)
I was deeply troubled. My psychiatrist had just told me in fall, 1997, that there was no medication that would significantly improve my schizo-affective condition. The best that I could hope for was the maintenance of a precarious lifestyle. As someone born with a chemical imbalance, the future looked bleak indeed. Since science had not yet come up with a treatment for this type of mental illness, I was destined to spend the rest of my life coping, but without a cure. I had a lot in common with people born blind, children living in abject poverty, or Kosovars murdered because of their ethnic background. No justice, no second chance for them or for me.
Certainly, there is no justice for such unfortunate people; there is, however, hope in the world to come. In the verse above, Jesus tells us of a Father’s house with many dwelling places. That was the very place to which He was going when He spoke these words to His troubled disciples. Circumstance spoke of betrayal, humiliation and a cross. Belief voiced a resurrection which would bring hope to those of us suffering without a cure, with no justice.
Many today deny Jesus’ death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. They do not believe He will actually come back again to take this schizo-affective individual to a better place. It is a better place because Jesus will be there also. And what if the cure does come for the schizo-affective disorder; there are plenty of other reasons I want to go there. One has only to read the newspapers or watch the television to discover what to see what those reasons are.
Prayer: “Dear Jesus, I thank You for sharing your Father’s house that has many dwelling places with me. I am grateful that, as someone who has accepted your invitation to be Your child, one of those places is reserved for me! Help me to understand the significance of the fact that for this life of mine on earth. You are the way to the Father’s house. Amen.”