Category Archives: faith

Uneasy Priest – Change Your Mind

From Uneasy Priest – Change Your Mind:

For those of you on Facebook:

If you don’t know the truth about mental illness, change your mind and learn about it today.

My name is Dave Juhl. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in the summer of 2008. It was a life changing diagnosis…for the positive.

For those of you who do not know, I blog about my struggles with mental illness here. It’s the first time ever I have admitted that I am the author of this blog. This campaign about not being afraid of speaking and admitting about mental illness changed my mind about my anonymity….

This is from my dear friend and fellow brother-in-office, Pastor David Juhl. If you don’t follow his blog(s), I would encourage you to do so. I always learn from him, and pray that he continues to receive the healing that he needs.


So what could you use spiritually?

My recent post about reading has prompted a further question for me.  The comments, as well as the experience that I have had, tells me that people who are going through depression rarely have the mental energy (or whatever you want to call it) to sit down and read.  Even if it’s short.  Even if it’s great.  If you don’t have the energy to look at the comics, a book on the theology of the cross and depression just isn’t going to help you.

So what will?

I’m not talking about medical or psychological help.  I mean spiritual help.  What will help heal your soul?  Audio, video, something else?

I’m just thinking out loud here.  I’d like to hear your thoughts.


Out of the Depths


Good Friday is really about life for me. Two years ago Good Friday, I was sitting at home, preparing for my minimal role in services. I had been on disability for about 2 months, and things were going fairly well. I got a phone call from the people that handle disability claims at our insurance company. They were just calling to inform me that since I had shown “some” improvement according to my doctor, that they were taking me off disability.

This began a series of events that I can only describe as surreal. I began a downward spiral that brought be to being suicidal. It was a gift from God that we had the divine service that day, for without that, I don’t know what I would have been doing. My pastor stayed with me as much as possible. I was a zombie, barely conscious, yet fully believing that there was no way I could get out of this, no way I could recover from such a blow. If I didn’t have the time and space I needed to heal, then I would only get worse. What was the point?

But God is merciful.

I lived.  Somehow our Lord got me through the Great Three Days.   After Easter I went to stay with some dear friends for a couple weeks to rest and try to recover some level of sanity and normalcy.  Things got better.  It took a long time, with setbacks along the way and all kinds of other gunk to go through, but things did get better.

So Good Friday for me is about life.  It’s about that life God gives to each one of us.  It’s about the Life that was given for my life.   It’s about the gift of seeing my children grow up, having friends and family who care deeply for us, and it’s about the ongoing work that our Lord does to keep us in the faith all the days of our lives.  No matter how dark the road.

A blessed Good Friday to you.


Lent and Depression



Lutherans often joke about how Lent is really their season. Self-denial, self-deprecation, and the like seems to go along well with some strands of Lutheranism, especially those of a more pietist strain. Self-denial, of course, is not pietism. But the way self-denial is practiced today more often resembles the pharisees and their inheritors, the pietists, than it does anything else. Continue reading Lent and Depression

Meditation, Depression and Christianity


A reader recently asked me to comment on the relationship between meditation and depression. I’ve already posted on this once, but it seems a worthy topic.  Before we can begin in earnest we need to define a few things:

What is meditation?

The ever-reliable Wikipedia describes meditation like this: Continue reading Meditation, Depression and Christianity

Faith on the Dark Road

One of the most difficult things to recognize is the place of faith when it comes to mental illness. Many view mental illness (or really any illness, for that matter) as a question of faith. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard variations on the theme:

  • “Trust that God will take care of you. You don’t need to feel this way.”
  • “If you prayed more and spent more time in the Word, you would feel better.”
  • “Depression is really a faith issue. If you had more faith, you would have a better outlook on life.”
  • “How can you be anxious and nervous? Haven’t you ever read Philippians 4?”

The list could go on, but Continue reading Faith on the Dark Road