This is an important book—about individuals, and about our collective population, who truly are Not Quite Fine. Lest you adopt an “us and them” stance in response, please recognize that in her book Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith, and Showing Up for One Another, Carlene Hill Byron is talking not only about the mentally ill, but about you . . . and me.
Author Byron, who has dealt with mental health issues for decades, deserves the platform this book affords. Not only has she lived with her own mental illness, but she’s also thoroughly researched prevailing attitudes and practices surrounding mental health. Her time spent counseling others with cognitive and emotional struggles rounds out her head knowledge with first-hand experience and infuses her views with compassion.
Consequently, she offers a Christian perspective for steps, both large and small, that we can take to love and support those in the throes of pain from brains and emotions that betray us—or those who need time to heal from trauma, grief, and other hurts that families, cultures, and this unstable world throw at us.
I was impressed by her clear read on how our changing culture distorts and hinders appropriate grappling with the suffering surrounding emotional pain and imbalance. With how she reframes some of the pain intrinsic to the human condition as a healthy, necessary response to our broken world, rather than labeling and dismissing it as a product of often stigmatized mental illness. With her trust in God through it all.
Her perspectives will challenge you. Agree or disagree, you’ll come away wiser, more thoughtful, and less likely to swallow the prevailing culture’s party line about mental illness.
I highly recommend this book.
This past week we traveled to Washington’s parched Palouse, where we roamed country we love for a few days. Following are a few pics from our excursion, some posted earlier on SM.
When footing takes flight.
“The king gives stability to the land by justice, but a person who takes bribes ruins it.”
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
“‘Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?’ says the LORD.”
Three Palouse stories.
A weary raccoon,
a lagging doe,
a serpent, growing.
At days’ ends, we wound down the Almota grade to our campsite there, on the breaks of the Snake River—where summer lingered, and so did we.
Thanks for going east with us, friends. So glad you came along.
Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks
P.S. I did a little updating on Instagram. If you follow me there, my feed will show up for you as usual, just with a new name.
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