But as she breathed her last—for she was
dying—she named him Ben-Oni (son of my suffering); but his father called him Benjamin (literally, son of my right
arm, meaning son of strength). And Rachel
text from Breshit has become my theory of spiritual care. How can I bring
strength to those who are suffering? And, eventually, how do those who suffer
turn their suffering into a source of strength?
had planned to write a book about this, looking at suffering through the lenses
of the people I have had the honor to work with as a chaplain. My patients are
my teachers, my inspiration. However, the more I tried to write other people’s
narratives, the more I realized that I must first write my own story. My story
is not as tragic as a mother dying in childbirth; it is not as dramatic as the
suffering my patients go through. But it is my story, and it is just as real.
From Sorrow to Strength is a collection of insights and reflections about various Jewish stories and traditions, all examined through the lens of mental illness, particularly clinical depression. The author has mined her own personal experiences to relate to readers in an identifiable and visceral way while doing her part to help end the stigma of mental illness.