All those who love comedy are probably finding themselves feeling “down” today, after hearing about the death of comic Robin Williams. His skills as an actor/comedian and work as a humanitarian will be dearly missed. An added “sting” to hearing of his death is learning that his death was an apparent suicide. It is a tragedy to see someone who brought so much joy and laughter to millions of people, end his life in such a way after dealing with the disease that depression is.
I don’t have to say anything about how well this community of Trinity Lutheran Church also knows the sting of such a death. It is powerful, and can be felt for decades by those who are left behind after a loved one goes this route, so to speak. But, as this community also knows, there is help for those dealing with depression, and for the family members of people who commit suicide.
As I sit here in my office today, all I can say is that every single person who reads this devotion has a place in this congregation and is absolutely and totally valued as one of God’s beloved children. While in the pit of depression, this is often forgotten, as is the love of one’s family.
What I can also say, is what we know to be true. God is always present with and for us, even in the darkest times we experience. No matter how deep and dark depression can be, may we know that somewhere, deep down, God can and will bring us out of that pit.
Please, if you find yourself or a loved one facing this kind of despair, seek the help of a counselor or pastor. And always remember that presence and love of God follows you always, and knows you for that beloved child you are.
11If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,”
12even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.
17How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you. (Psalm 139:11-18)