Cascade Books just published a collection of my sermons. Here is a shortened version of my story about my Uncle Jesse and his response to his wife’s mental illness. I always called him “Uncle Jesse.” As a teenager, I thought of him as that friendly uncle with the shock of white hair and warm smile that everyone in my home congregation respected. We all knew that Uncle Jesse had to raise his two daughters by himself because his wife had been institutionalized for mental illness for as long as any of us could remember. But I never thought much about that—as a teenager, that is. His warmth and joy seldom betrayed deeper pain.
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