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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Coming Out of the Closet of Depression

TEARS streamed down her face, and her chin quivered uncontrollably, as she gave way to the truth that had troubled her, for she was an elderly lady who had lost her husband. Grief had bestowed her being. And her loss was compounded by feelings of being most vulnerable to a couple of violent teenagers who lived next door. She needed the kindness of a heartfelt prayer, and, as a pastor I know who was with her began to pray, this precious older lady melted into his arms.
All her seemingly strident strength was gone, but something marvellous happened; she feel into the arms of Jesus.
She responded to the care of a stranger whose compassion to care was simply waiting on the opportunity. She received the comfort and mercy she needed; she was met with acceptance. She had come out of the closet of her depression.
Sure, some counsellors and psychologists wouldn’t say that grief and depression are the same. Yet, she felt ashamed for feeling sad, selfish for feeling lonely, and like a whinger for ‘complaining’ when she was still wrestling with her loss 12-months past. She didn’t want to be a ‘nuisance’ in anyone’s life, least of all her family’s.
She had kept a dark secret. It was a secret that would do her no good. It was a secret that could even hurt her family. She needed love, help, support and safety.
***
Depression is insidious and won’t allow us to break out of the dungeons of our own hiding. It insists we keep the mask on. It tells us “Nobody will understand.”
People do understand. Nobody it seems is disconnected from either their own depression or a family member’s or a friend’s. People do understand in this day.
There is no benefit in hiding, when to break free and be honest could highlight the way to help.
The way to unmask the helplessness of depression is to unmask it by seeking help.
***
Nurture compassion with eyes focused on another’s heart. God will give you warmth beyond words.
***
If I were you,
And you were me,
I’d love you true,
Because into you I’d see.
But you are you,
And I am me,
So tell me true,
How you’d like to be free.
***
Prayer:
Give Courage, O Lord
Father in Heaven,
Spirit over the Earth,
Son of our Salvation,
Heal.
Provide, Lord, the impetus for courage.
Actualise help out of depression — the faith to step — make this real.
Give entry to surrender the pain.
Help relieve the pain that is all too real.
Help make this pain that is endured be heard, felt and shared by another.
Make it happen that the burden shared is halved.
Give way, O Lord, to an industrious and sensitive working of Your Spirit.
Bring life when life all seems gone; bring healing when all that is seen is pain.
Help us understand, what we don’t understand.
Bring a sense for peace in this situation that can come only from You.
Revive the depressed by Your Word of comfort and by Your Spirit of hope.
By the Lord Jesus Christ,
My Saviour, My Rock, My Redeemer,
I pray.
AMEN.

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