Thursday, November 15, 2012


“We know that affliction makes for endurance, and endurance for tested virtue, and tested virtue for hope.  And this hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:3-5

At least affliction is good for something I suppose.  I’ve been depressed tonight.  Not situational depression like being bummed out because I’m broke, but clinical, biochemical depression.  Depression that makes no sense.  Has no context.   Like going through my day swallowed up in gooey molasses.   Sure that it will be a permanent condition.   Endless.  Eternal.

But, of course, the feeling that the depression is without end is a lie.  My mind is lying to me tonight.  But I know from past experience that it does end.  That I will resurface, take a gulp of fresh air, and bob to the surface.  With the help of several phone conversations with friends and spiritual advisors, I have gotten over the worst of it.  At least for now.  Their suggestions included watching a movie, doing some dishes then going to bed, calling my doctor in the morning, or reading a book.  I chose to read the beginning of “The Seven Storey Mountain” by Thomas Merton.  It’s supposed to be a classic and I found the opening so engaging that I’m excited to continue it…perhaps when I’m better able to focus.  Then I put some venison jerky on to marinate with my oldest son.  It’ll go into the smoker tomorrow. And those simple actions-a phone call, meditative reading, and some cooking lifted my spirits enough that the fantasy of checking into the 5th floor of St. Joe’s Hospital passed.  Why is the nut ward always on the 5th floor I wonder?  Anyway, I’m sure I can make it through the night now.

So what does this have to do with endurance, tested virtue, hope, and God’s love…

Enduring in the moment is a test of one’s mettle.  Perhaps it is a test of one’s faith.  Faith that I will always be carried.  The virtue I demonstrate in this is a growing sense of self-efficacy.  That my thoughts, deeds, and words matter.  That they have some bearing on my struggle.  And that leads us to hope.  The hope that  God’s love is given to me and to all of us.  That this love is poured into us.  That I will endure because God’s love and grace has been freely given.  And it is through grace that I will survive another bout of depression.  That I will endure another day, one moment at a time, until I get to the other side.  And on the other side I will again be able to be of service to God and my fellow man.  That God’s love will be poured out through my heart.  It is precisely because of, not in spite of, my afflictions that I am especially suited to be of maximum service to those around me.

“Keep passing the open windows” – Mulan Kundera. 


1 comment:

  1. I hate to hear that you are go through this. I have been there. But, like you said, it does get better. I found that once I went through it, my life has more meaning. I'll be praying for you.