Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: Darkness is my Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness by the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Green-McCreight

I've spent a lot of time around mental illness. Whether learning about depression because of family history and the symptoms of the thyroid condition I was diagnosed with when I was 18, or from people I care about walking in the valley of the shadow of death, it's not a topic that is alien to me. So, when I asked for this book from Brazos, I was desperate for Greene-McCreight to help me make sense of some things.

But I put most of it off. Until Germany. And what a read. Greene-McCreight herself suffers from mental illness. But her Prayerbook-obedient, hymn-riddles, expose of life with illness is filled with beauty and a conviction of the beauty of God's gospel and Word. She lets you into the stream of consciousness of her experience, the needs from the community (laity, clergy, etc.), and the process of seeming treatment (including medication, therapy, and hospitalization).

Greene-McCreight is an Episcopal priest. She is intensely orthodox, in love with the Gospel of Jesus, and I think her book proves to be an invaluable tool for the care and cure of souls (and perhaps self-care) for all ministers. For those with mental illnesses, there is grace and understanding of the experience that offers much comfort. She candidly addresses her personal journey, with an openness that is very healing and instructive  Pastors, read this book. Learn. Deal gently with the ones who suffer from illness.