In His Right Mind

by Sebastian De Varona '24

Lunatic in the Oxford dictionary is defined as “a mentally ill person (not in technical use).” Common social slang, the word is used in a plethora of ways to describe people who are “out there” by modern standards of society. Conveniently, the Oxford dictionary keeps track of the origins of all words and claims the word lunatic is derived from the Latin word, luna, meaning ‘moon.’ This is rooted in the belief that changes of the moon caused intermittent insanity.   
When broken down, this unveils an entire side of society’s “lunatic” that is very often overlooked. This idea that gazing at the moon for too long induces lunacy, and warrants ostracization from society. Pink Floyd, a British prog-rock band, explores society’s perception of a Lunatic in their record-breaking album, Dark Side of The Moon. Derived from Roger Waters’ (the sole songwriter of the album) experience with friends and family being labeled as lunatics, the band dives headfirst into the black hole that is “mental illness.” The closing song of the 1973 album, Eclipse, perfectly summarizes the life of the lunatic - the life of someone who has seen the dark side of the moon. A bone chilling moment, the listener is given no option but to sit in fear-induced chills as the words “the sun is eclipsed by the moon” clear the room.  
In the same way Roger Waters’ “lunatic” is stricken with a surreal understanding of the sheer depth of the universe, Christians experience the same emotions. This is perfectly displayed in Mark 5:15 where a man who had been possessed by demons and living among tombs was healed by Jesus. It says, “When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” The overarching irony of this passage is the fear-stricken onlookers being contrasted with the perfectly calm Jesus and the previously possessed man. The man is grateful in having received the full extent of Jesus’s power and the crowd had no other reaction but to sit in fear and disbelief.  
Think back to the Lunatic now, remember how he was ostracized. Try to recall how his greater understanding of the “dark side of the moon” only gained him exclusion from society. In the same way the demon-possessed man looked upon Jesus with amazement and the crowd looked with fear. Sometimes we are faced with such great displays of God’s attention to detail, and the depth that the world holds. However, the other 90 percent of the time, we are stuck in a hazy, foggy, perception of the world in which we live.  EXCEPT, for those who have accepted Christ and see the depth of the world through his great works. Belief in God WILL lift the fog of your life to see the beauty. Will your faith warrant ostracization? YES, the world will view you at times as “the lunatic.” It must be understood though, they are internalizing God’s overwhelming glory as fear, when the reality is, they truly are in awe of his mighty, mighty power.   
Westminster Christian School, located in Palmetto Bay, Florida, is a private, college-preparatory school for children from preschool through twelfth grade.