There are so many people hurting in our world. They are struggling to fit in, struggling to cope, and in some instances struggling to survive. They are overwhelmed with feelings of despair. Many have lost hope.
We live in an age of negativity. Turn on the news and what do you see? You will see stories of drug use, fraud, murder, hate crimes, war, government shutdowns, and economic crisis (just to name a few). Negative..negative..negative. If you are lucky, you might get to see the one-minute “feel good” story that many news programs show before signing off. It is like they are saying “here is a minute of good to help you forget the previous 29 minutes of bad”.
We are more connected today than ever before thanks to the world-wide web and social media. I love social media, but having access to the world’s news at my fingertips can be a real downer. I remember the morning I received a text alert about the horrific events of Sandy Hook Elementary. I was in a meeting talking about the positives of mentoring children when my phone buzzed. I peaked at it and in an instant, my stomach dropped and a lump appeared in my throat. My positive meeting’s tone just changed.
Social media has also made bullying very easy. Boys and girls can hide behind their computers and say hurtful things to other kids through Facebook and Instagram. Something that we as a family have seen firsthand. Twitter (my favorite SM channel) gives you access to people, including celebrities, in an instant. Many will take advantage of that platform, that access, to cast stones, bully, and spew hatred towards others. Unfortunately, I see it every day.
A world of negativity. Have I painted the picture for you? When you look at it closely, you realize just how bad it is. This bombardment of negativity brings people down. They seek comfort in negative things that lead to destructive behaviors. Depression sets in for many. A World Health Organization study shows that more than 120 million people across the globe are suffering from depression. In a given year, 1 million lives will be lost to suicide. That is approximately 3000 deaths every single day. These statistics are mind-numbing and flat-out scary. Depression is a huge contributor to global disease and affects people of all ages in all communities.
This week I joined a volunteer team that is focused on helping young people while focusing on the positive.
Remedy Live is an internet webstation for teens that hosts positive music content, interactive chat support, and issue based show content to help a generation live their lives on purpose and not by accident. I volunteered as a Soul Medic, a volunteer who participates in live chat with teens who need an ear. For one hour, I engaged with those who either entered the chat room via Remedy’s website or via text message. I will admit that I was a little nervous entering the chatroom for the first time. I mean, we are talking about serious issues like depression, suicide, cutting and self-harm, addiction, abuse, faith, and other concerns that may arise. During my hour this week, I engaged in conversations about depression and relationships. We talked about our God and His love for us. It was a quick and easy way to give from the comfort of my own home. I look forward to next week.
I am very excited to be a part of the Remedy Live ministry. Most do no know that I have struggled with depression at points of my life (a story for another time). I have been blessed to have special people in my life to help we through those stormy seasons. Now, I get the opportunity to help others. I encourage you to check out RemedyLive.com. If you have a computer, a love for Jesus Christ and people, and one hour a week, you too can impact lives as a Soul Medic!