I suppose it is possible I need to do some clarification on yesterday’s post.
There are a few folks worried about me. I appreciate that but I am not “depressed” in the clinical sense or otherwise. My disposition will not allow it.
I am far too inclined to laugh and laugh at myself. I have too much joy in my wife and children and music and food and friends and enjoy the comfort of the love of God to be in that place. and to be honest, I know people who are there and it would not dignify the intensity of their sufferings to equate mine with theirs.
But I know all those feelings yesterday. They have not all come at once for me. I am thankful for that. It comes in waves. And in fits and starts. Sunday nights are always hard, though….unless Monday is a banking holiday and then the dread, real dread comes on Monday night.
I did not say all this yesterday because those who do not feels things acutely get it. I know I didn’t. I just cruised along. And they hear someone use the word “depressed” and immediately go to the point of it being a medical condition. We need to be able to use the term without that kind of worry. Because sometimes there are seasons when a believer feels like a weight has been put on them and they feel smothered, depressed to the point where the only spiritual air they breathe chokes them.
See, I’m using poetic language that makes it even harder for most folks to understand. Most have not searched for words to crawl into and take refuge in. They cruise along better and will just say “Sunday nights suck.” Whereas some of us are more prone to say something like…
Sunday nights are the darkest nights
No beams of light find their way in
The morning’s dawning darkness begins
Early, casting shadows, barring lights
What’s to come stands fell like a sentry
Between the soul and joy’s full reserve
Every sound a pound upon a tender nerve
Every smile broke upon the weight of plenty
See, you’re worried again. Don’t be. It is the most natural thing in the world to stretch out vocabulary in hopes of capturing what is felt. Sometimes it’s dark. Lets not be afraid of it. have you not read the Psalms of lament? Geez, that stuff is dark.
This is the kind of thing that makes my brothers think I’m adopted.
But yesterday’s post was worth it. It showed me two things. First, there are so many people who have trouble putting into words the turmoil of their inner life. They need someone to write for them in the church. And they need counsel that takes them seriously without just trying to fix their griefs and pains.
Second, it is good to hear we are not alone. And it is good because we need the company on the journey when it is dark the most. And we need perspective. My friends Adam and Howard are battling cancer. I need to remember that. My battle sometimes feels like a death, they are literally fighting for their lives.
One of the things we need to remember is that we follow and have been saved by a man “acquainted with sorrow and familiar with grief.” And in a way, that is good news in itself when I remember that it was for the joy set before him that endured the suffering of the cross.
It did a third thing for me Matt. In some of the reactions it reminds me that I used to be a hard hearted Pharisee ever ready to tell complete strangers exactly what obvious theological truth they failed to understand, which if they only took on board would solve all their problems. God forgive me. I think I know better now.
Me too, my friend. Me too.
I hope someday you have a job that makes you look forward to Monday. I never did. Maybe there’s hope for both of us. I pray for you to find that and in the meantime, thanks for being faithful to work somewhere you hate just to take care of your family. That is honorable and noble.
Just tell me that when you start writing poetry, it won’t come with explanatory prose. 🙂
Good (and much-needed) message, Matt!