Everything is theological and theoretical until you step across the lock-down threshold of a psychiatric hospital. No easy answers here. White walls. White floors. White ceilings. White bedding. And pale white Jacob. Seventeen. Blank stare. Scarred wrists.

Alive following a third suicide attempt. Curled up. Shallow in breath. Rigid. Parents looking down. Exhausted from endless attempts to save their son from himself — and the memories that haunt him.

Bullies. Judgment. Exclusion. Rejection. Pain. Crippling pain.

When people suspiciously question Lead Them Home’s compassion — what’s the end game here? — I hurt. For Jacob. Lesli. Jackie. Daniel. Zachary. And dozens like them over the years. And their parents. The invisibility of their pain screams to be heard, but quickly fades down vacant hallways.

It’s easier to look away. To walk away. To stay in theological and theoretical realms where parables and psalms make perfect sense. But one brave visitor crosses the divide between here and there and the rubber of God’s love meets the hallway that don’t care.

It’s Pastor Mark. He did not have time to come. But he’s here. In a split second. To enter into the agony. Listen. Comfort. Pat Jacob on the back. Whisper to him how much he is loved. Hug his parents. Sit with them. Wait in silence. Pray.

Do you know a gay teen who is struggling? Don’t wait to reach out until you have to cross the lonely threshold that separates rainbow sunsets from whitewashed hallways. The rubber of God’s love best meets the road when we reach vulnerable gay teens this side of the hospital.

The hallway don’t care, but I do. I do…

NOTE: To learn what you can do, request information on The Church That Saves Lives.

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