(There is a part 2 here)
This morning I awoke to see this on Twitter –
A cool thing to do for your mom would be to stop worshipping your own depression and make strides to improve yourself and your life
I do not know who wrote it and I do not want to know. The only reason I saw it is because someone else retweeted it. And I can understand why someone might. It is painful watching someone hurt and it is easy to think they are wallowing in it. Especially if it looks at all like any kind of depression.
I am not offended at this. I am not mad. But I don’t think they get it.
I can only assume the person who wrote these words has not walked into that room within the soul with no lights or windows and often the memory of those things make it only that much darker.
That person has not looked at something beautiful and not been able to enjoy it because of the dread of the coming work week where shame is the order of the day.
That person has not looked at the bottom of the well and struggled to believe there was anything there of value.
That person does not wake after only a few hours of sleep with a pounding in the chest because his job is waiting on him.
That person has not wondered if God stands like sentry blocking all efforts to improve life or just abandoned him altogether.
That person does not understand that Sunday night is the darkest of nights.
That person does not know how hard it is to keep smiling and joking just so they will not ask.
That person does not know how it is to be at the apex of your emotional pain only to have someone taken from you with the expectation that life will gone and you must “improve” it.
That person does not know the complex weakness of those who want strength but cannot seem to muster it and only want to lie down for days on end.
That person has not had the promise “Blessed are the poor in spirit” on repeat throughout every. single. day.
That person does not know what it means to mine the Psalms for hope amidst the Psalmists’ “dark night of the soul.”
But some of you get it. Some of you understand. And the good news for us is there is another word to hang onto even when we wonder if the words are still true for us.
Thankfully I read another tweet titled “Fighting the Monday Feeling” and all it was was this…
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!”
And then I read this…
Only the gospel frees us to admit our weaknesses, because our worth is not based on our being strong, but in Jesus being strong for us.
And now I must iron a shirt and find a tie.
Thank you for being willing to share about the struggle for all who struggle. I pray for you in the journey.
Been there too. Dad dying. Job turned upside down. Church exploding. I can finally bear to see some joy after almost 3 years.
You have been one of the ones to grieve (virtually) with me along the way. Along with Andrew Peterson, Michael Card, my wife, my pastor, and a few others who know how to grieve well with someone.
‘dark night of the soul’ was actually St John of the Cross, not the Psalmist.
but i get it… mom just passed in april 13th. mother’s day was tough this year just liike father’s day has been since jun 21st, 2010 (yea, dad passed the day after father’s day)
i get it… even more this year than the last two.
thanks matt for a great post.
Yep. I was just saying they went through it. And I should be thanking all of you.
ever read dylan thomas? “do not go gentle into that good night” written for his father who was dying at the time.
I have not. Point me in the way.
he was a welsh poet of alcoholic decent (aren’t they all… not really) who wrote in the poem how death and the after life should be fought in the effort to hold on to this life. “rage, rage against the dying of the light”
not a believer in christ and died himself an early death at 39yr old with cirrosis and alchohol poisoning.
if only we christians yearned for Christ and Life Eternal thusly…
“Life life, etrnal life” -Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress
It is always very easy to give glib advice about What The Other Guy Should Do when you yourself have never been there. Remember Job’s Counselors?