Saturday, November 8, 2014

"Are You Serious" Awards - Volume XXXVI: The "Where Was The Help For Mom?" Edition

Our ministry was birthed through a place of need.  As the mother of a child (only one at that time) with a serious chronic illness, I wanted to be served.  I was hurting, overwhelmed, and wondering how his diagnosis all fit into God's perfect plan.  Rather than having someone come to my rescue, He sent me out, a clueless, humble servant, who knew too little to get in the way of the work He was doing.  Suddenly, a special diagnosis became a lifeline to draw a whole host of parents closer to their Maker.

Over the past 12 years, we have had the privilege of serving so many parents, many of whom are struggling.  The weight of what they carry is more than they can or were ever meant to bear on their own.  So it frosts me when I see stories like the horrific news that came out of Oregon this week.

In case you hadn't heard, a 34 year old mother of a boy with autism threw the 6-year-old to his death off of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on Monday, November 3rd, then called police to tell them she had done so.  In addition to caring for her son, she was also caring for her husband, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and a mass on his brain stem.  She was also under treatment for her own mental health issues.

 Are you SERIOUS?!

While the reaction to what this woman has done is understandably visceral, I think it becomes way too easy to label this woman as a monster.  In his book, THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, Pastor Rick Warren reminds us that given the right set of circumstances, any of us are capable of any sin.  At one point in my life, I used to seriously doubt the truth of those words.  However, time has proven again and again how correct Warren is in his statement.

Photo image courtesy of Larry Masseth via
This mother was a time bomb waiting to go off.  Apparently, due to the family's overall health picture, they were in serious financial need.  Social fundraising appeals had been made.  Furthermore, she had been "hearing voices" and supposedly had an appointment scheduled to increase her medication the day AFTER this murder occurred.

I am so many levels of frustrated with this story.  It goes far deeper than the incredible tragedy of this beautiful boy being killed.  I wonder where the support was for this poor woman.  She was carrying a load on her own that no person was ever meant to bear without help from others.  I also see yet another example of our mental health system failing tremendously.  This mother should have been inpatient, not waiting for mere med check if she was to the point of hearing voices.  And how did Oregon's social services so epically fail this family?

I don't know about you, but I am beyond sick of hearing stories about help that came too late.  Parents need support and encouragement now.  It shouldn't have to take murdering your own child to finally get people to understand the depth of your need for help.

*To read the full story, visit

1 comment:

  1. Spot on, Barb! You said it so well and with the moral authority to do so! Probably won't help her much tho'! Makes me weep that the church at large doesn't jump all over this issue of families who are so desperate behind their closed doors with no one to turn to! The break-down and fragmentation of our medical system only makes the problem more urgent!