In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul, borrowing from Hosea, writes, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Paul writes what was then known as a taunt song, a song that was sung by victorious armies after defeating their foes. Humor is scriptural and it is a powerful ally. While I have no guarantee that my depression will not return, I find that I am less afraid of the disease because over time—and don’t overlook those two words—I have come to be able to joke about it. This is not to trivialize the disease or dismiss anyone living with it. It is just that, for me, humor allows me to take something that was once so all-consuming and see it as manageable. It is the spiritual equivalent to turning on the lights in your childhood bedroom to show yourself that there were no monsters in the closet or under the bed. Humor is my light switch and I think that it is harder for one to be afraid of something they can laugh at once their lights are on.
The Platitudes: A Beatific Parody (A parody loosely based on Matthew 5:1-12 and actual things people said to me during my depression)
And now a reading from the Book of Jackariah beginning in the 24th chapter with 7th verse: Now when the Jew and the Gentile saw the blogosphere, they went up on a mole hill and sat down. Imagining the attention of even a smattering of their readers, the Gentile spoke—seeing how this week it is a parody from the gospels—whereupon the ever irreverent reverend said,
Blessed are those who do not ask, “Have you just tried cheering up?” for they will remain on my Christmas card list.
Blessed are those who do not quote lines from Rodgers and Hammerstein like it was gospel. Verily I say unto all who say, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window,” for those who say this I will be looking to shove them out of said window.
Blessed are those who don’t point out that “its all just in your head” for they will not be here forth known as Captain Obvious. (other reliable modern translations include the phrase, “where else would a mental illness take place, but in one’s head?”)
Blessed are those who do not feel compelled to share with you about that one time they were really bummed-out for a few days after the Panthers lost the Super Bowl equating their post-game malaise to your four years of crippling depression for they will not be kicked in the shins.
Blessed are the merciful who don’t point-out how “it” could be worse for they will not be condemned to a hell that resembles the DMV in August when the A.C. is out.
Blessed are those who don’t insist “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” for they are aware that there’s nothing Nietzsche could teach you.
Blessed are those who don’t encourage you to come off “all your meds” for they are not spending inordinate amounts of time on WebMD.
But blessed are the patient, the consistent, the kind, the thoughtful, the time-takers, the meal-makers, the care-givers…
Blessed be anyone who will abide with a soul who is in the abyss.
(Click here to hear our first attempt at a Podcast. Remember this is only a test.)