Parasites show up uninvited. Often we don’t even know they have arrived, that is, until they have stolen our energy or made us ill.
When my brother and I were children we often spend time in our grandparent’s woods. After a day of trekking through the forest my mother would take a comb and look through our hair for ticks (parasites). This was a time consuming process because each and every stand of hair had to be checked. If a tick were found Mom would light a match, blow it out, and touch the match to the tick’s back. The heat of the match would cause the tick to release its claim to our heads.
Depression is a parasite….a thief! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). It slithers in (uninvited) under the radar and tightly wraps its tentacles around some unfortunate victim and ever so slowly begins to squeeze the very life from them. It steals that which does not belong to it…and leaves a wake of destruction and sorrow behind for both its victims and their families.
Depression goes much deeper than an occasional case of melancholy…depression devours its prey like an infernal fire, its appetite never satisfied, always thirsting for more. Depression is not something one can wish away or just get over…oh, if only it were that easy.
Depression is a dark, debilitating disease that affects millions of people each day.
Let me say that again, depression is a disease…and if you are experiencing the painful effects of this disease I urge you to seek a professionals help. For years there has been a stigma attached to this disease…it is my hope that by continuing to educate others about this disease that eventually this stigma will disappear. It saddens me that some may choose not to seek help because they fear what others may say.
We are the only ones who truly no how we are feeling…and it is not for others to judge us! “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1).
This time of year can be difficult for many. Amidst the holiday lights, candy canes, and joyous celebration there are those who are estranged from ones they love, are miles away from those who are dear to them, and some are just alone…they have no one.
We can help shine the light of Christ this Holy season by sharing a kindness, giving an encouraging word, or offering love to everyone we encounter…the man at the check-out, the woman at the drive through window, the neighbor who sits alone…