Some things don’t seem to change,
like thinking that people with mental illness
belong in graveyards
because they might as well be dead,
or adding shackles to chains,
and then a few more chains for good measure
on top of the shackles,
and not visiting.
But Jesus asked his name,
and, when there was a diagnosis so complex
that no one had really tried to help,
Jesus didn’t even flinch,
but even negotiated with the illness,
and treated it with kindness.
And then, when the people —
the ones who wanted more
punitive “mental institutions” —
saw this man
stable and dressed and normal looking
that made them even more afraid and angry
and they told Jesus to leave
before he healed anyone else
they wanted to give up on.
The man hoped to leave with Jesus,
because he suspected
no one would ever see him as other
than the crazy guy.
But Jesus, knowing a quarter
of the world’s population experiences
mental illness or behavioral disorder,
sent the person to find friends,
among the friendless
and tell them about mercy
in a merciless world,
that no one needs to stand alone
on the edge of a cliff,
and that a person met in a graveyard
will be the best One
to explain resurrection.