Occasionally, I find myself in a funk. I can’t quite say that I’m depressed, because I’m not sure that’s what it really is. My head could be broken, or there could just be too much going on to maintain that semi-indifference that helps me laugh at most things. Door number three could be that I haven’t cared for myself physically in the ways that a human who desires to be healthy ought to, and the chemicals in the brain suffer, wreaking havoc with my worldview and worse, my mood. Who the hell knows? One of the troubles with a holistic view of the human is that it adds so many variables to each of life’s equations and struggles. That means more avenues to pursue when looking for wholeness in the face of brokenness.
I’m a minister. The kind who wears a black shirt along with a white collar on Sundays. The kind who made lifelong vows to Jesus. The type of person one would expect to have solutions to situations like depression and the world not being what we want it to be. But before that, I’m a Christian. The born-again, evangelical type who openly confesses that I’m broken and need all the Jesus I can get. So when I wake up one day and realize that my head isn’t on straight, I generally talk to God about it. Honestly, this sometimes takes a little while too. Any of you who’ve dealt with this know that when you’re sick, you don’t always have the ability to reach out to take your medicine, even if it will make you feel better.
Regardless, the following is an exact transcript of a talk I had with God this week whilst feeling all weepy and needy:
Me: God. What is wrong with me? Life is hard lately and everything hurts all the time.
God: Physically hurts, or figuratively?
Me: Glaring off into space.
God: You realize that your hyperbole actually makes all of the things more vague, don’t you?
Me: This is a perfect time for a lecture. Why is there so much bad in the world and why am I broken right now?
God: Right meow?
Me: I’m glad you’re amused. Because I’m not.
God: You know the answers to your questions.
Me: I know I do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk about it with you. I mean, I actually kind of don’t- but I know better. Aren’t we supposed to talk to you about this stuff? More importantly, aren’t you supposed to do something about it?
God: Pretty much.
God: Suffering is an interesting thing, isn’t it? What are you going to let it do to you?
Me: Depends on how I want to cope. I could eat a ton and get even more chubby. Not a fan of my thirties for that reason alone. Or I could just not sleep and be a grump about it. What do you think?
God: That’ll turn out great, won’t it?
Me: And you aren’t being helpful. I’m supposed to harass you when this happens, but so far, the situation hasn’t improved and I’m slightly annoyed with you.
God: There are plenty of unhelpful things to say to a person when they’re having a hard go at things. It’s in these moments that perhaps actions speak louder than words.
Me: So, you’ll act and make me feel better, is what I’m hearing.
God: Hear what you want to, child. I’m going to do what I’m going to do.
Me: Always have.
God: And your kind always hears what you want to.
Me: Blah. At least you’re talking to me. I’m just lying face-down on my couch with no will to do anything- annoying myself and you’re still here.
Me: Well, since we’re talking about actions, something for dinner would be nice.
God: You should go for a run and get some good sleep tonight.
Me: Do you even listen to me? I asked for pizza.
God: Waves hand. Pizza is not the cure you’re looking for.
Me: Did you just…
Humans are complex creatures. God is a mystery. Pairing those truths together will always make for interesting interactions. Hence, all of history. Thankfully, his goodness will always more than prevail over our depression, brokenness, grumpiness, doubt, or otherwise objectionable airs. Also, going for a run doesn’t help.
Some great friends of mine called not long after and invited me out for Thai food. Not pizza, but still more than acceptable. Their company was exactly what the Good Doctor ordered. Even if he did mention sleep and a run.