“I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.”
― Henry Miller,
“The prince is never going to come. Everyone knows that; and maybe sleeping beauty’s dead.”
― Anne Rice,
“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.”
― Søren Kierkegaard,
“The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.”
― Woody Allen
“Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair.”
― Andrew Solomon,
Depression is the flaw in love? What the heck kind of thing is that to say? I’ll admit I knew it was correct the moment I read it, but who wants to think like that? I find myself thinking that way often. I’m not suggesting I’m depressed or that I’m becoming the proverbial “glass half empty” guy. Quite the contrary. I am however grasping finally, that the bitter is necessary to appreciate the sweet. For without bitter, there would be no sweet. None at all. Which is why, if we are to be creatures who love, and we know we are as it is written, then we must experience the polar opposite of love in order to know love and love more deeply. That my friends, is despair for many of us. The void of love if you will…
Here’s the facts. It isn’t hard to find despair. It is quoted above like it is going out of style. In fact, I’d say unless you’re void of a soul and the basics of caring, despair will find you. There’s no reason to go looking for it.
I get down in the mouth, just like all of you. I ask myself, “Lord, why am I doing this?” I do. No joke. I don’t have but two or three readers. I look at my site stats and I get an idea of who they are and when they view the blog. Am I reaching anyone who benefits from this? Anyone? I even start to question and then confuse despair with futility.
Just as an exercise, I thought I’d view the world, my country, my friends, social media, my community, etc. through the eyes of despair. …And you know what? It wasn’t hard to see conflict and angst along with pain among so many around me or connected with me. To say we live in a fallen world, is just about right. I know many of you recoil when you read that. I understand why. I too don’t want to believe it. I choose to see the better in things, so that doesn’t allow me to accept that this world is fallen, right? Wrong. I have labored under that false notion for a far too long. There is no need for me to kid myself. Not one bit.
Satan is real friends. He tempts you and stalks you without relent. If there is a heaven above, and I assure you there is, the other thing I can promise is the hell below us. But here’s the little ray of sunshine around the dark gray cloud I’ve put forth for you – while you should be aware that despair surrounds us all, you do not have to welcome it.
I walked you through ‘the facts’ a few paragraphs above, right? Now let me share with you the truth. Your faith, when properly fed, will equip you to meet despair head on and best it. Some experiences you’ll have will be quick and relatively painless. Others may plague you with considerable woes. But no matter what, your Faith will help you and insulate you to the darkness we all find around us.
Think about that little pic above. Think about it hard. Are you putting the time and effort into your Faith so it can sustain you? Are you actively choosing Almighty God with your trust, even when you’re scared? It can be hard at times, but I’m learning more and more that I can do this. If I can do it, that means you can too…
Romans 10:17 – So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Be salt my friends. Seek light. And for the record, all three of you reading mean a great deal to me. Even if I didn’t have a single reader, I would do this for myself, but more importantly for Him.