A cry for help {guest post}

Something a little different for today’s God and Suffering story: a friend from church sent me a ‘stream of consciousness’ post, very journal-like, written in a time of depression a few months ago. He described it as both a prayer and: “articulate crying, with the same therapeutic value as actually weeping.” It is so raw and beautiful that I asked his permission to share it. Over to John Jordan:

I cry for help, but no one hears. My voice echoes around the lonely hills, before it is lost in the wind. I scan the bleak horizon in the perpetual twilight and see no one. I cry bitter, lonely tears that go unheard.

I have been on this path of sadness too long. Scanning the bleak landscape for a clue, a beacon to guide me, but all the hills are the same. I strain my eyes in the twilight to find answers, but see nothing but the ghostly shadows of an undefined darkness that I am unable to identify. I wonder if it is too awful a truth for me to know.

I have met some strangers on my journey, and I rush to meet them. I ask the question; why? They look at me and do not answer. It is as if I am speaking a foreign language. I have met those who know the landscape, and I ask them for directions. They are professionals that know the lie of the land. They give advice on how to find a way out, but their directions send me in a circle, back to where I started.

I have called out to the almighty God for relief, and have wept in His presence. I have begged Him for answers. It is as if He is listening impassively; saying nothing. In reverence to Him I console myself with, “Who am I, a mortal creature to question the wisdom of the creator God. I wait on Him”

I am tired of it all. All these long years, I have had hope, a hope that burned in the darkness like the puny light of a hurricane lamp; a candle. I have sheltered the flame from the wind. Now the fuel is running low, and the flame is flickering, sputtering, threatening to die.

I am tired of it all. I fall to the ground, spent, and exhausted. I lie impassively, and without fear as the undefined darkness comes over me. It seems logical that I should let the darkness overcome me. I have been running too long; “You win!”

Over the wind I hear a song. A song that drags me back in time. I am looking at my baby daughter. I then see her as she is now, smiling, holding my Grandson. I know that she loves me, I know my wife loves me, I know I have friends who like me. If I give up, it will hurt them all. They will grieve and blame themselves. I love them all too much, so I struggle on; Living for them, and not for me. They do not know how hard it is or they wouldn`t expect it of me.

As I lie, exhausted, and without hope, I wait in the lonely darkness for nothing, because I have learned to expect nothing. I will just carry on like an exhausted soldier on a speed march, the voices of others, like corporals, calling, threatening and cajoling.

All that I have left in all this darkness is the faith that God will ultimately protect me from the undefined darkness. I will wait on Him.

John Jordan is a writer based in Devon, currently working on his memoir.

Over to you:

    • Have you ever found writing to be like ‘articulate crying’?
    • Have you ever prayed in a similar pattern to this writing?

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6 Responses to A cry for help {guest post}

  1. Lynn 29th January, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    Thank you so much for this. So many people have or have had depression – it is such an indescriminate illness. I am trying to help a family member through depression at the moment and feeling pretty useless. I am even gladder(!) that things are better for you now John. My relative is improving too with some good medication and counselling.

    • Tanya 2nd February, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Praying for your family member now. X

  2. Jillie 29th January, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Oh Tanya…How I appreciate John’s raw honesty in his writing. I myself, have struggled with depression, and at one time, the thoughts of my loved ones was what brought me back from the brink. For me, writing about it helped more than trying to read about it from other’s accounts. I have written in my journals as John has written…trying to make some sense of it all.
    Even moreso, I must tell of my experiences with a dear friend of mine. She has had more than one bout with depression. Her last, brought her to two suicide attempts! I found her the first time, and was called in to try and find her location during the second one. There is no more helpless feeling in all the world than trying to lift the spirits of someone who sees no Hope in life. It has been a long road for my friend. I imagined my life without her, and could not accept it. I would do anything to help her. To keep her here for her family and the many others who love her. It is a mysterious illness. One that I struggle to understand. One that I have experienced firsthand. Where IS God in the midst of it? I do not know.

    • Tanya 2nd February, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      Oh boy… Your bout of depression… And finding your friend…
      It is – it’s that feeling of helplessness. There are just no easy answers.

  3. Diana Trautwein 29th January, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Oh, John. I am so glad you decided that people who love you would grieve if you were gone. And I pray that the darkness has lifted a bit – and that maybe this writing helped it to do so. Depression is so overwhelming. There is a good book of essays out on this topic – about 30 writers all contributed. It’s called “Not Alone” and is edited by Alise Wright. You can find it on Amazon.

    • John Jordan 29th January, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Hi Diana,
      Things have changed dramatically since I wrote, “A Cry for Help.”
      A psychiatrist prescribed an addtional anti depressant to be taken with the one that I have been taking for a number of years.
      Within four days my energy levels increased, and after a fortnight my mood had improved beyond recognition. The change in me can best be described as miraculous.
      I am back at work and feeling better than I have felt for at least forty years.
      My journey with depression is a long one. I have suffered since I was sixteen, experienced a breakdown at eighteen, and have struggled periodically ever since.
      The good news is that finally, the correct combination of medication for me has been identified.
      I see my past struggles as a preparation for the rest of my life. A bit like military basic training, it has been hard, but The Lord has prepared me for something, and I wait on Him.
      Thank you recommending, “Not alone.”
      God bless.

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