Friday, January 19, 2007


God of Depression

I intended to write this a month ago but got distracted. Better late than never, I hope, and perhaps my thoughts are more coherent now.

Gary wrote about spiritual depression in December. I left a comment in which I mentioned that God had promised to take care of my depression. Other comments were skeptical. Not surprising, given all the nonsense about God and healing, but in this case I wasn't the leader. God's the one who said it.

Oh, yes, I understand the skepticism. I'm a skeptic myself but have been encouraged to believe by spending a lot of time standing with my toes hanging over the edge of the abyss. Even radical, absurd impossible change looks better than the long black fall.

From my point of view it's very logical. Depression adds nothing to life. I look back over the three years I've been walking with Jesus in desperation and each little step shines, each one leading to where I am now.

There are lots of reasons for being depressed. I made my own, converting God's garden to desolation with my own brand of dynamite, big mechanical scarifiers and other powerful ideas that reduced a normal self to a kind of shadow-human. God tells me the damage can be undone, and dancing ex-cripples illustrate his power. Lazarus walked.

God says he can teach me to love. As with any other long trip there's a lot of preparation work that has to be done first, such as learning to recognize it. I've used intellect as a substitute for most normal human processes, which has been good in some ways and bad in others. Relationships, even that with God, aren't a rational process. I don't even see how it all works. Anyone else would have given up. I gave up. God didn't.

How far will we get before my time here is done? I have no idea. That's God's business. One good idea that came out of the dead years was that life is a process, and process is much more fun than arrival. More interesting, anyway.

There's a fine line between believing what's impossible and believing that something is impossible. God has to be able to insinuate the idea that change is possible, even if church and world say it's impossible. I see mainly my need. God sees mainly my transformed self in Jesus' white raiment, but he also sees through that to my need. He's not upset. He simply reaches out with his hand and asks me to hold on.

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