Peter and Rebekah Laue - 965 Cloud Cap Avenue - Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 USA
Peter's Resume

My name is Peter D. Laue, and while I am not looking for a job, I am looking for that unique audience which will appreciate and respect those things I have to say about mental illness. For the past thirty years I have identified with the mentally ill in almost every category. I have shared their pain and torment. I have searched for answers and a way out. I have struggled to survive. I have struggled to invalidate and throw off the devastating prognosis of “hopeless” and “incurable.” Up to this point I have addressed those adjudged emotionally and mentally ill. I have written for their benefit, made myself vulnerable and transparent for their benefit and have invited them to visit and correspond with us. Both my wife Rebekah and I have poured out our lives on their behalf. I have learned much by being “one of them.”

There is a burning desire now to spill my heart out onto a new audience, the audience of caregivers, those who have been entrusted to care for the many who live or just exist on the fringes of our society. These caregivers have many different titles ranging from psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and therapist to counselor. Most of these men and women have had their professional status validated by extensive and expensive schooling and training. They are professionals who generally receive payment for their services. They have chosen their profession to see people healed so that they can return to the mainstream of society. They, too, often struggle for answers that work, and sometimes apply techniques that backfire. The history of treating the mentally ill is flawed with many embarrassing and cruel blunders. As yet, healing in that realm is as much an art of the heart as it is a science and remains quite elusive. No one should proclaim they have the universal key unlocking every prison gate of the heart and mind.

Those who have come back from the dead, those who have whipped the odds, those who have wrestled with demons, those who have tasted God's grace, those who can say with the prophet Isaiah, “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts,” - these are the people whose stories should both shape and challenge the way we treat the mentally ill. Those who have been to heaven and hell and came back need to be invited to speak to the caregivers. These are the people whose stories we need to read, whose accounts we need to examine. Indeed, they may threaten our academic traditions or challenge the way we do and view things now; but if only one more person can be retrieved from the snake pit of insanity, we must be willing to rethink or even scrap what we have learned. We must be willing to give Jesus, the Great Physician His rightful place on our healing staff. I realize it may not be politically correct to use His name in the scientific or academic world. I do so because I wish all to know it is He who has equipped me to speak with boldness and compassion on behalf of the mentally ill. It is He who gave me the strength to persevere against incredible odds and still does.

Hopefully I have paid most of my dues academically, socially and in the furnace of affliction where the ropes of anger, fear, lust, confusion, pride, mania, depression and grandiose ideas are burnt off. I am no longer a young man. I do not offer what I have learned for personal gain or aggrandizement. I make myself transparent and therefore also vulnerable that if possible, just one more captive may be set free; that my healing might be duplicated in someone else's life.

First and foremost, we need a very compassionate heart towards the mentally ill. The caregiver's personal attitudes and beliefs, his own spiritual, emotional and mental wellness will influence the course of treatment as much as his or her professional expertise. Wellness, just like many illnesses, is transferable. The woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment was healed. We must examine our own hearts and crooked thinking before examining the mind and heart of a patient. If the caregiver cannot see a patient as healed, he cannot offer the most vital ingredient, namely hope. If we cannot listen to their pain and confusion without judgment, we should not try to be their priest or counselor. If we cannot see a patient as valuable and made in God's image, worthy of our time and prayers of intercession regardless of personal rewards, we might be in the wrong profession. We must have the humility to say, “I do not know. I do not have the combination that unlocks your troubled mind and heart.” A caregiver's job is not an easy one. Knowing how to repair damaged emotions or redirect the misguided zeal of a man like Saul on the ”Road to Damascus,” takes the wisdom of a Solomon.

Who is to say what it really means to be healed, to be whole? Whose standard shall we adopt for the word “normal?” Shall we adopt our own standard, what the textbook says or what Jesus says? Is our goal for all patients to be reintegrated into the mainstream of society or are there other legitimate realties and worlds that our five senses cannot readily comprehend? These are questions of grave importance. The way we answer them will influence the course of treatment.

If we are willing to create a level playing field between caregiver and patient, it will be far easier to both help and also learn from one another. Some fifteen years ago a psychology professor at a major campus invited me to speak to a number of his graduate classes. This did more to heal my shattered identity than months of counseling. Patients can become a major reservoir for new information if they are treated with dignity. Whether you invite me into your living room or classroom I will bring along a new pair of glasses for all who wish to view mental illness through different lenses. I am willing to recall and relive my painful past in order to help someone else. The corridor to freedom is very narrow. For many there was and still is a prison on one side and a mental hospital on the other. In an hour of despair many dark and deceiving voices try to whisper to us.

The right audience will permit this crusader to open up his treasure chest of unique experiences and insights into the chaotic world of the mentally ill. Let us come together and learn from one another. You can become better acquainted with the undersigned by requesting an audio cassette or viewing our web site: The words: STRETCHER BEARERS FOR CHRIST can also locate the web site using most search engines. There is one particular page that may be of special interest to those who wish to invite me into their lives and living rooms. This page is entitled, “The Other Peter's Epistles.” Feel free to send your personal letters and questions to our e-mail address: We have chosen this address to indicate that the words of Jesus in the Book of Luke, chapter 4, verse 18 are the focus of our lives.

Peter D. Laue
Stretcher Bearers for Christ
965 Cloud Cap Avenue
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 USA

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All writings by Peter, the Lord's Scribe and Storyteller and all paintings by Rebekah, the Lord's artist are copyright free.