Speaking of Depression and Prayer (on the Radio…)

Speaking of Depression and Prayer (on the Radio…) September 1, 2010

Today at 5:10 EST I’ll be on The John and Kathy Show, on 101.5 FM Pittsburgh. (You can listen to it live online.) We’ll be discussing what I touched on a bit with my post, “Praying When You Have Low Self-Esteem.”

I’m looking forward to this chat, because … well, here’s what I just wrote on the J&K Show’s Facebook page: “I’m looking forward to discussing the challenges of coming before God when we’re feeling particularly lousy about ourselves—which, of course, is when we tend to most want to isolate. How to open the most important door of all, when the last thing we want to do is be seen?”

Because isn’t that the whole thing with God: how to access him/her/it anyway—much less when you’re feeling like God is the last … all-powerful entity upon whose door you should be knocking? (Oh: for anyone with “him/her/it” issues relative to identifying God, see my post, Does the “Average Christian Reader” Need God to Be a “He”?)

I’ve got to cut out of my house here in about ten minutes (today, for one, is my monthly meeting with the San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association: we’re learning today about the Sikh tradition), but thought that before going I’d quickly (and so in a manner much too scattered) share some of what’ll be on my mind this morning as I think about the relationship between being depressed and coming before God. These are just the raw, core thoughts:

God’s in favor of low-self esteem—insofar as it implies humility. Humility is God’s open gate.

God is not someone before whom you need to do everything right. There are no standards with God. If anything, the sloppier the better.

God’s not your boss. He’s your friend.

When you’re depressed, don’t think you shouldn’t be. Don’t run from it, or try to make it better. Do the opposite: Take it more seriously than you might be inclined to. Dive into it. Assume it’s valid. Use God to help you explore your depression, and don’t worry about “healing” it.

When it comes to God, don’t be goal-oriented. Be relationship-oriented.

Give it time. Just sit there. See what happens. Sometimes you need to talk to God; sometimes you need to listen. Take the time to do both. You’re depressed. What else do you have to do?

God’s the ultimate shrink. Believe it.

Assume you don’t really understand the nature of your depression. (You can also pretty safely assume it’s really anger.)

Resenting/doubting God because in the past your prayers haven’t been answered? Often being too focused on what you’re not getting means missing what you are.

Anyway, like that. Tune in if you can/get a chance/want to. Otherwise, I can tell I’m going to be exploring some of this stuff in near-future posts. Love to you guys. (I’ve posted this without editing it. Forgive sure resultant mistakes.)

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