The breeze moved crisply this morning.
Damp feeling from the night before.
A hard rain giving
Gentle, wispy newness, stirring taller trees in a sway-like dance.
The sky was divided.
Grey thickness separated by an underlay of clear white.
Then, gradual interspersing of illumined white, clear and soft.
Intersecting, blending…a collaborative, much like my work, home, faith, prayer and passion.
I’ve heard stories this week and last of children, teens, young adults who are struggling.
Of parents blindsided by words, thoughts, and acts.
Frightening, shocking and saddening. The parents, lost for words and for solutions.
One shared their plans for a conversation.
Told me they’d say with bold and outspoken love, “I would be the saddest person on the planet if you killed yourself…would you do that to me?”
I waited, feeling the courage, the truth, the authority behind their words.
Then said… “Your sadness is not on their mind.”
Paused, allowing my words to settle, adding
“If someone is depressed, is so far down in sadness of their own, the only thing they can think of is how to get out of the deep, deep hole that has encompassed them, the dirt of their pain or circumstances surrounding them like a wall caving in.”
“Oh.” they said, eyes dropping down, their understanding palpable.
Work intersects life sometimes for me. Approached in church by a concerned parent I tell them I’ll pray; then I tell them what I’ve learned through stories of survivors of suicide loss. I share with conviction and with intention what I know of depression, what I’ve become passionate in conveying to others, my efforts all based on hearing at least one less story of suicide.
Depression is medical. Depression is not a lapse in or deficiency of faith or belief.
Depression requires a brave and attentive response.
A readiness to hear what you are afraid may be spoken.
Sticking around to listen and then staying close in readiness to hear even more.
Praying too; prayer like David’s, a cry of desperate search for relief from turmoil.
A brokenhearted petition seeking relief, restoration, longing to have reason again to praise when none can be found. Yes, pray. Pray without boundaries while you seek help and stay close.
Acknowledge the mind as a physical part of the body. Sore throat? There’s a test for strep. Growing pains or something more? There are tests for that.
Bad mood, puberty, peer issues, teenage angst or depression, there’s a test for that.
The soul thirsts for God; but, is after all encapsulated vulnerably and imperfectly in physical body.
Why are you cast down, O’ my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:5
Be brave. Be attentive.
Respond while you pray. Winter is hard; but there’s Spring again, soon.
Here’s a valuable resource God blessed me to be a part of forming.
And another resource designed just now, a new resource of MHA Aiken County as I prepare to speak to teens tomorrow. Work, life, faith, prevention.