Following my own experiences in dealing with depression today, and in conversation with others I am left wondering why we do not speak more of the God we encounter in the darkness, and in our struggles with life. There seems to be an continued insistence on presenting faith as a kind of miracle balm that produces happiness, an insistence on telling a sugar coated good news story that proclaims that all is joy and peace, that all is victory and positive.
The thing is that that is simply not true. People of faith grapple with doubts and with confidence and with questions and even with despair, and sometimes we are made to feel guilty because of it, we are told that proclaiming the good news means telling stories of light, not of and not of darkness.
I wonder what it is that we are afraid of, are we afraid of the God who promises that even when we plunge to the depths that he is there? (Psalm 103) Are we afraid to ask questions, to demand answers to reach the edge of madness yet not let go? (Job) Are we afraid that we will loose everything, forgetting that in completely letting go we somehow (cliched as it might be) let God...?
We loose so much when we fail to listen to the experience of Jesus in Gethsemane, when we fail to hear St Paul's voice from the prison cell, the voices of the Desert Fathers and the Mystics. There is much treasure to be found in the darkness, much comfort to be found from the God who meets you in the depths, and the Spirit who broods as a mother over the waters of chaos, waiting for (re)birth.
I may be suffering from depression but it has not weakened my faith, it has caused me to cling to it even more.
All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well ...( Mother Julian of Norwich)
(Image: Treasures of darkness; mine)