I just finished watching this 2-episode Korean drama about a mom in her 40s who suffers from early onset of Alzheimer's, It's Okay Because I Am A Mom.
I was reminded of the fund-raising concert Symponia that Jakin had helped to organise last year in school, in aid of the Alzheimer's Disease Association. His team had invited a caregiver to share her story and many in the audience were greatly moved. Similarly, I was in tears while watching the struggles faced by the protagonist and her family members in the k drama. Unfortunately, such stories are becoming more common in our aging population. In fact, today I also happened to chance upon a short film about the Confessions of a local caregiver.
Anyway, I like the way the k drama storyline focuses on the cracks in the family which widened at the discovery of her illness. In the end, the love and sacrifices she had made for her family in the past brings redemption and restoration. The key is that the plot doesn't just gloss over the problems. The beauty is in showing how love can bring the family together in the face of setbacks and challenges and give them the strength to keep going in spite of...
That, I find, shows up the elephant in the room which many Christians refuse to acknowledge. The majority of church-goers have this false belief that they can only show the good things in their lives in order to be an effective witness for God. [The prevalence of social media where only the best side is put on display worsens it, I think.] And along with that, they also propagate the myth that all your problems will be taken away once you receive Christ, plus the much more destructive idea that if something is still wrong, then it must be due to your lack of faith.
As a result, within the church community, many are still living behind masks rather than being authentic with one another, which leads to a lack of understanding, acceptance and ultimately a failure to truly love one another. And it also means that the church is incapacitated in reaching out to the wider community because we are unable to be the incarnate Body of Christ that lives among and feels along with the people.
However, the mood is gradually changing and there is hope for the church yet. More and more believers are starting to realise that we need to be real before both God and man, and that we have to provide a safe and loving community within the church for those who are struggling, whether it is with family issues, addictions or other problems. For instance, honest conversations like Is It Safe? (about same-sex attraction) and Tidings of comfort and joy can't take the pain out of life (about death) must take place. Only then can we point people to Christ and help each other to find true peace in the midst of the storm.