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Monday, April 12, 2021

Christians Are Part of the Problem, Too

I don't usually talk about these depressive thoughts. For two reasons. 

I don't want to bad-mouth God publicly. That sounds funny considering what I've already confessed but it's true. I believe in God. I believe the evidence for intelligent design far outweighs the evidence against it. I have studied apologetics for 40 years in one form or another. I am not able to abandon what my reason says is true. I don't want my depressive experiences to become an argument against God. 

I don't want to give bad thoughts to people who've never had them. There are so many things in my head I wish weren't there. I don't want to spread the disease if I can avoid it. No one should have to think these things if they aren't already there. 

However, I am coming to realize that my silence is part of the problem, especially for me as a Christian. In the last 9 years, I've avoided the church because, in general, Christians don't understand what I'm going through. They don't want to be around my grief, my hopelessness and my anger. They don't know what to do with it, how to respond to it, and most importantly, how to not make it worse. As a naturally solitary creature, I don't want to expose myself to further injury by well-intentioned but often condescending comments from the peanut gallery. It is not helpful. 

The depressives out there are hearing me loud and clear. Just like those who've suffered soul-wounding grief, abuse, addiction and any other life issue that doesn't fit neatly into a worship song or have a tidy, miraculous, instant cure. We hurt, and we don't need or want platitudes. We don't need you to fix our problem (although sometimes there are solutions). We aren't looking for advice (although sometimes we are). I can't figure out what's going on, I certainly don't believe you can figure it out (although sometimes an outside perspective is quite helpful). 

What I need from my fellow believers is prayer. They can say whatever they want about me to God. At least I'm being lifted up. I need a kind ear. I need a cup of tea. I need someone to say, "You know, I don't always get God, either." 

We the hurting are just talking about real things that really trouble us. The only thing I want is for God to show up. I don't even need an answer. I just want to see Him, like Job saw him. But I'm not Job. 

Keep the faith. 

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