You know what’s neat about healthy families, healthy systems like work, church, politics, relationships? You can talk about things! You have the safety and freedom to share your concerns and worries, and speaking up will have some kind of influence on those around you. They will adapt to your needs or work to help you solve your problem. At the very least they will stop and have a listen.

It’s messy and imperfect of course, and people have feelings and spats, and lots of forgiveness is required. You need a ton of grace to grease the skids. However, that is the simple definition of a “healthy system.”

As opposed to a closed, toxic system that just chokes the life out of people. That’s a place where everyone has to keep secrets and pretend. You can’t talk about anything because you know they’ll be a huge backlash.

You simply cannot put people in an extremely toxic and dysfunctional environment and demand they perform in a healthy manner. It doesn’t work with dogs and it sure doesn’t work with people.

We haven’t had that kind of good mental health in my local community for years. We haven’t had it in our churches at large and we sure haven’t had it in our democracy and politics. I’d describe our modern culture as extremely toxic and dysfunctional, often really emotionally and psychologically abusive.

What’s kind of interesting is that I would even know this to be true. My experience with healthy anything is exceedingly rare and momentary. Like oh yeah, so this is how we were designed to function, this is what creates optimal mental health and highest performance! Wow, it really works. This possibility does exist.

I’m not surprised that much of humanity is really swirling the drain and suffering a great deal in the modern world, I’m surprised I still believe that there is a better way, another option, a possibility waiting for us.

It’s really challenging to try to live in a broken world, as if that were true. To walk it out. To insist upon it. To demand it, even. Three cheers to those of us who can put our eyes on the One above and just walk it out.