This is the beginning exercise and the ending blessing of the third session of my Grief Lectionary study, based on Scripture from 1 Kings 19.
Gather from your memory, recent or long-past, the days that moved like molasses, when even the air seemed to weigh you down, where moving at all, let along forward, felt like too much.
Open the door to voices, inside your own head and out, which told you lies about yourself: “You are alone. No one cares. No one would love you if you they knew. You aren’t worthy”.
Let the memories come back from those early mornings and late nights when you were so tired but couldn’t sleep. The tears that ran you ragged, never stopping long enough to let you recover.
Allow even the darkest moments to come back: the times you wanted to give up, the times the voices said “I don’t want to live anymore”, the moments you wondered if the voices were right.
Now come back to this moment, and remember that you are here. You are still here.
Remember those who tended you in the darkness, who fed you, who watched your kids so you could nap, who said I love you until you believed it.
Remember the nourishment that came when you were at the end of your rope: the doctors, the therapist, the parents, the friends. The rest, the food and drink, the walk outdoors, the meds.
Remember that all of this was God: the caring, the sustenance, the sleep, even the silence. Remember how all of it said “You are not alone, You are not done, You are beloved.”
Come back again to this moment and remember once more: You are here. You are still here. Thanks be to God!
A Blessing In Your Depression
When you wander in a vast wilderness, bone-tired but running still: May you find one solitary tree to shelter you.
When you cry your eyes and your heart out, and finally say aloud how alone you feel: May a message of God show up, saying “Eat something. Take a nap. I can see this journey is too much for you.”
When the voices inside you and out trick you into believing you are unloved, unworthy, unwanted: May they be drowned out by God’s sheer silence,
Into which that Voice will finally speak, from lips both human and divine: “God hears you. God sees you. You are not alone and you are not done yet.”