I recently picked up the original Star Wars triology at Goodwill for $4. I love a good deal. So I’m watching the shows I watched when I was growing up. But this time I’m focusing on a different character than normal: C-3PO.
C-3PO could have been suffering from clinical depression. I know, I know. Droids don’t have bio-chemical imbalances or situational disasters that send them down the rabbit who so many of us experience. Duh. But run with me on this.
C-3PO has the miraculous way of always looking at the worst in any situation. “We’re doomed.” “I’m going to regret this.” “Oh he excels at that.” Most of C-3PO’s statements follow along these lines, especially in the first movie (or fourth movie, depending on how you’re counting).
Now from a cinematic point of view, he serves to ask the question and express the fears of the audience. “How are they going to get outta THAT?” It’s a part of what makes his character fun, expecially in contrast to the irrepresively happy R2D2. (I hate R2D2.)
But what really is intriguing is looking at C-3PO as a character. His view, frankly, could be the view of someone clinically depressed. It’s like your brain is hard-wired never to see the future, to dwell on the impossibilities of today, and to only imagine that things will get worse. (Confessional Lutherans, btw, are in general susceptible to this.)
This is how I often feel. It’s certainly how I have felt in my darkest hours. In the midst of the fog, the darkeness, the wet blanket of life, I can’t seem to get out of it. I can’t see past it. Things will collapse. I will never get better. I get mad at myself, I zone, I get angry at my family, lash out at anything and everything, if I have the energy to be angry. Often I just mentally implode, where nothing is moving and I can’t get out of it.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
This of course is the balance we all seek. Recognizing the trials of this life (including mental illness) are not forever. God does heal, and He does use people as his instruments. Doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, pastors, friends and family, all of these may be used in different ways to bring about healing, both on this side of the grave, and certainly in the day of resurrection.
Be at peace. Christ is here, in His Very Word and in your very mouth and heart through his holy sacraments. Even if your attitude is that of our friend C-3PO (as is mine often enough), God’s promises remain sure.