Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Thomas Story Kirkbride was born on July 31, 1809 in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. He was a Quaker and he felt called as a boy to study medicine. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1832. It was at the Pennsylvania Hospital that he began to take an interest in the treatment of mental illness. He was appalled of the treatment of those with mental illness and he began to write how to best treat people in asylums. His work was noticed by the newly formed Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane and he was appointed director of the institution. Kirkbride immediately instituted a home-like atmosphere. Restraints were to be used only in emergencies with the most violent of patients. Dr. Kirkbride created a humane and compassionate environment for his patients, and he believed that a beautiful setting restored patients to a more natural balance of the senses. He talked to the patients calmly and as equals. He provided means for stimulating their minds through gardening and the use of a library. More than half of his patients were eventually able to return to healthy productive lives outside the hospital. His work became the model for other asylums. One former patient said Dr. Kirkbride "carried help and light to helpless, clouded minds."
Are there people in your life that you can speak up for?
Dear Lord, thank You for being our advocate. Help us seek those who cannot speak for themselves so that we can speak up for them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.