Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
Where does darkness go when the lights turn on?
Inside Seneca Caverns in western Ohio, our tour guide shut off all the lights. Thick blackness wrapped each of us in a cocoon; even my hand resting on my nose was indistinguishable.
Then someone, maybe the guide, turned on a flashlight. Its usually strong beam was almost engulfed by the vague shadows it created! It’s a strange sensation realizing this kind of coal-black cannot be expelled so easily. Still, at the precise point where the bulb glowed, darkness fled.
It’s a fruitless exercise to try describing hopelessness because it is not concrete or tangible. Without measurements or boundaries, it just is and becomes real to the one caught in it.
Depression can smother the light of hope from a room and a mind. In the coal-black of despair, love’s radiance may seem to disappear completely. Yet for me, there has always been a lamp for my feet.
What the Light that never fades is not
Some people experience a calm sense of oneness with the universe, however, I’m not talking about a feeling.
Others may express an awareness or epiphany. Nonetheless, the Light that never fades is not a thought process.
Many use the phrase, “my faith” when trying to explain an inexplicable inner strength that pulls them through difficulty. Still, I’m not portraying a faceless anomaly.
The Light that never fades is a person
As I deliberated suicide, he was there. The Light in my darkness did not present himself as a knight in shining armor with an instant rescue. He didn’t snap at me and tell me to get my life together. I came to him angrily, sorrowful, and void of hope. He simply reminded me he was there, sat with me in the pit, and loved his suffering daughter.
His name is Jesus.
“Faith is the substance of what we cannot see,” it says in the Bible.* I believe what the Bible says about Jesus. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” *
As I struggled repeatedly to thrash my way out of this life, he was by my side. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
Yes, it’s that old fuddy-duddy dust-covered book of presumed fiction and anti-science, perhaps sitting on your shelf, that brings life to the dead and the light of Jesus to the dark. God’s words never fail – another fadeless light. Faith comes by hearing his Word (the Holy Bible).
Jesus is not a transient feeling, a fleeting thought, or a wishful belief system. He is in reality, the King I know and whom you can also meet.
Today’s Helpful Word
Psalm 119:105 NLT
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
John 12:45-46 NLT
“For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me [He is talking about God who sent him]. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” -Jesus (the italics are my words – Nancy)
*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
**Micah chapter 7, the second half of verse 8