Saturday, June 28, 2008

Depression, Love, and Depravity.

I remember listening to a lecture at Capernwray Hall on 1 John that addressed Depression. Rob Whittaker was talking about how when God teaches you things, they are usually in a positive manner; in that when He tries to change you it will not be blatant condemnation, but more like a divine compliment sandwich. (good comment, criticism, good comment).

I am incredibly depressed today, I am alot of the time. When Rob described the symptoms of what was Not God but was self-condemnation/depression I almost put my hand up to show that I felt almost all of them (except for the not eating one.... of course the only good part of depression I end up missing out on).

Today I was reading Donald Miller's "Searching For God Knows What" and he discussed the effects of the fall, and how it can be interpreted relationally. How every one of our relationships is screwed up now because of it, and how we are like deformed children from Chernobyl. He says that ever since Genesis 3 we have continually sought after the affirmation of other people. I think he's right in that I know I've written probably 5 messages or emails to people expressing my great love or appreciation of them, and sometimes very personal thoughts or struggles but then have no reply. It hurts probably more than most things I've experienced, because I - like everyone else - seek the affirmation of others.

I wish God would teach me something more uplifting, this last week or so I've only been taught the fallenness of humanity, our hopelessness to help ourselves or to do good, and the effects of Adam & Eve's sin. It's quite depressing, and so I wonder if it is God, and if Rob might have been wrong about God and Depression.

I was starting to think about how love is intrinsically tied to pain, and how if you don't love people, you may feel empty, but you don't quite feel the amount of pain. Some of the people I love more than anything were at my house last week, and since they left I've felt immense pain.

I started thinking about God and that maybe He too felt terrible after creating humanity which rebelled against him.

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’" - Genesis 6:5-7 (NRSV)
It's strange that even God is greived by Love, and stranger still why he would go through it all if he knew how it would end in the first place. But for some reason I guess he thought it was better to create than not to, and better to love than not to. I read those words and feel in my own heart the condemnation that everything is 'only evil'. I feel like Ezekiel is a liar, for he said:

"A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances." - Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NRSV)
I certainly don't feel like I have a new heart on days like today. I guess here is a promise of intrinsic justification, the actual change of the person, the new birth. What a beautiful hope. I think I've felt that way before though, I've changed, I've had a new heart, I've loved God, and been inclined to do good. I think the main problem for me now is that I'm by myself, and as Donald Miller keeps reminding me, I'm created to be relational. As the heroic saint John Wesley once wrote "the bible knows nothing of solitary religion", I quite agree. But it seems I must congrate the devil for seperating me from all Christian fellowship, for that is as it seems. Now if only God would switch things around. It is sadly not so, at least today. And so he teaches me the principles of the fall, of the wickedness of my own heart, and the consequences of the divine seperation, so that maybe one day in contrast the beauty of the divine union might be that much brighter.

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