This is one of about a dozen books I’m reading right now. It is a series of devotional meditations based on the prayers of: Jonah, Job, Mary, Jesus and Paul. I’m just starting on it, but thus far I like it very much. He has a good grip on the theology of the cross. I’m not sure how Christological yet, but I think it’s coming. I’ll do a more complete review as we get through it.
Check it out!
Rev. Esget over at Esgetology just made a wonderful post on depression. I would urge you to go read it. His comment about not viewing depression as a moral failure is right on. So often depression is seen as fundamentally a faith issue. I just don’t buy it. There are biological factors, physiological factors, and yes, spiritual factors. But we do a great disservice to those in need by making this all about the Law and unbelief.
It is amazing how often in the Scriptures poverty is extolled. This doesn’t mean a lack of wealth, but rather the poverty of Spirit of which our Lord speaks of in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 6). This coming Sunday we have the story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31), and the contrast between riches and poverty is once again held up. In the words of Luther, we are all beggars, this is true.
So what does this have to do with mental illness? A number of things come to mind:
- Being poor in spirit is not the same as a pity party. Those of us who suffer from depression are experts at pity parties. When our Lord speaks of being poor in spirit, he talks about knowing where and whom to trust. Trust not in princes, they are but mortal. My heart and my flesh fail me (Ps. 73:26). Commit your way to the Lord and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Being poor in spirt, like our Lord, like Lazarus, like the saints of old, means recognizing that all of our gifts come from our heavenly Father’s divine merciful hand.
- A lack of riches does not equal richness in faith. One can be both monetarily poor and spiritually poor at the same time. Greed and avarice afflict the rich and the poor alike.
- Mental illness lends itself to believing that God has abandoned you. Think of poor Lazarus. How could he not believe God had abandoned him? One could also think of Job, Elijah, and many others. Appearances, however, are deceiving. God does not abandon you because things stink. Our Lord Jesus Christ becomes poor with you, so that you may be rich in Him.
Just a few thoughts for the day. Now it’s time to go try and pay some bills. Now THAT’S depressing….
Well, we just hit 61 readers who are subscribed to Dark My Road. Yeah for us! This blog has been tremendously helpful to me over the last year and a half, almost two years. I’m always amazed at finding people who read this site and relate. It just doesn’t seem that profound to me, but there is so little talk about mental illness in Lutheranism, that I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.
So who are you, gentle readers? If you’re up to it, tell us a little about yourself in the comments here, what else you would like to see, and where you go for comfort in the midst of the dark road.
Thanks for speaking up!
I ran across THIS LINK in my morning reads. The study concludes that depression in fathers has an adverse affect on a child’s language development, because they spend less time with newborn children.
i haven’t found that to be the case (yet) in our family. I suppose time will tell.
And for those who monitor my posting, I haven’t posted for a month. I’m doing okay. Just crazy busy right now. I’ll get in the swing of things here soon.