Do you think people are innately good? Most people will say yes. However, if you believe the Bible as God’s Word, then you know that it specifically says that ALL have sinned and come short before the glory of God and that NO ONE is righteous, no one seeks after God. Occasionally, my heart likes to be naïve and think that even though everyone is a sinner, overall, people are nice!
My current Behavioral Health or “psych” rotation has wiped away the last bit of such a notion. Going in, my peers had told me that it would be the most laid back rotation with short work days and a ton of free time on my hands. After completing my surgery rotation, I was ready for this “vacation” rotation. Boy was I in for a rude awakening!
My first two weeks of psych was on the adult forensic unit at the inpatient psych hospital. Everyone on this ward had committed some kind of crime: some as “small” as making terrorist threats to as big as being rapists and murders. All these people have to be deemed competent before standing trial. On my first day, I remember walking onto the unit where you had to unlock and lock nearly every single door you went through. It was like prison.
I wish I could adequately describe how it felt walking through the unit. As soon as we entered, cold dead eyes just leered at us. Some just continued pacing the room. Others would walk right up to us not having any boundaries and ask odd questions. They were all psychotic or gradually recovering from psychosis, and we never knew when something would set them off. I had never been so terrified of patients before.
With prayer, that terror was soon being replaced by compassion. Most of these patients were genuinely sick, but there was still this huge part of me that hungered for justice. Who would avenge the victims? Everything just seemed hopeless, cold, and dark. They desperately need Jesus.
For the past 2 weeks, I have been at a juvenile crisis center. This place is SO much better. I am not scared of these kids all under age 17. I love kids! This is my habitat. As I became accustomed to these teens, I began to see how darkness just permeated and continued to thrive. Most of these kids are from broken homes. Some have behavioral issues. Others have experienced abuse in their lives, and they find comfort in cutting themselves. Then there are the psychotic ones who see people and hear voices telling them to kill.
Why do I even mention any of this? Vast majority of these people look normal. They are pretty nice actually! Some are really attractive and charming. From the outside, I would assume that there’s nothing wrong with any of them, but there’s a deep seated darkness that I can’t see. Believe it or not, we are blinded by the evil that’s smiling right at us.
Where does that leave us? Where does that leave these unfortunate souls who look like that they will never escape the confines of their dark mind and hearts? I’ll be honest with you. I’m still struggling with those questions. When I don’t know the answers, I have two constant sources to rely on: prayer and God’s Word. I pray that these kids will grow up and live fulfilling lives. I pray that these kids find Jesus and leave the kingdom of darkness and are transferred into the kingdom of light. Just because it may seem impossible, I know that God can bring victory in every situation:
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16