reconciling despair and hope

one of the hardest things to come to grips with, when dealing with this depression, as a christian, is how to reconcile the overwhelming sense of despair that i know my body is “tricking” me into having, with the overwhelming belief in hope that i ought to have.

when i get sad, i feel faithless, and selfish.

when i am not sad, i wonder if it is only the zoloft, or if it is really me healing.

when i am okay with things that i worry should hurt, i wonder if it is me stuffing my emotions again, or if it is the meds faking a sense of balance.

when i am not okay, i can’t know if the meds aren’t working, or if i am not really believing what it is i claim to believe.

the gospels claims that jesus said that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could tell a mountain to move, and it would.

well, here i am at thirty-one years old, and i have never seen anyone move a mountain.

i have seen some amazing things, but who hasn’t?

i have become good friends with some people who claim no god, who don’t know who or what accounts for what it is we refer to as the miraculous, but still acknowledge that amazingly freaky stuff happens, and they seem OK to me.

all of this, combined with what i have come to believe about the bible and christianity in general make me really question sometimes what it is we are all to really be about.

jesus preached of taking care of the poor, of not worrying, of simply depending on the father for what it is we need, and (more or less) doing good to our neighbor.

he preached hope, no matter what circumstances say.

i recall a passage where some people were killed, and people questioned him about it, asking if it was because they sinned, or what, and his response was basically: shit happens, be sure you’re prepared, in case it happens to you.

so here i sit, wondering about my body, and how it works, and how the meds interact with it, and about faith, and while i believe the god of the universe loves me, i have to seriously question my own faith in the person the gospels claim was his son incarnate.

the gospels claim that if i set out to be a disciple of his, the holy spirit will indwell me and teach me to be truly joyful, and to be a powerful witness to the resurrection of the messiah.

and yet here i am, a broken, pathetic and depressed mess.

some claim (tom cruise is among them) that medication for such things is a short cut.

that if i truly had faith, i would not “need” the medications i am on, for ADD or depression, or anxiety, or insomnia, or whatever else.

the gospel of mark, in the last chapter, near the very last verse, if i recall correctly, claims that some things absolutely will accompany true believers. signs such as being bitten by snakes and yet not dying.

anyone reading this been miraculously saved from a snake bite lately?

and so i can not help but feel like a failure, and hypocrite.

i am fully aware, having memorized nine new testament books that in romans, paul speaks of how his body conspires against him, and he finds himself doing what he does not want to do, and what he wants to do he finds himself not doing.

he goes on and one an on about it in typical pauline fashion, with too many words and too little empathy for the reader, and then he concludes with “woe is me, who will save me from this body of despair? praise be to god, jesus christ will save me!”

there are times when i believe this, and times when i can not.

does that make me a bad disciple?

a bad christian?

bad at “religion” ?

a bad person?

or does it just mean my body is a broken, subject-to-the-fall thing that requires modification in order to be all god “intended” for it.

my doctor asked me if i felt guilty about wearing glasses.

clearly, my eyes don’t work right.

ought i not wear contacts or glasses?

ought i try to have more faith, and just try to see better?

is it the same with ADD?

depression?

anxiety?

at what point do we separate our personality from our chemistry?

if the calvinists are right (which they’re not, the unorthodox monsters) then god wanted me to be this way. he wanted me to not be able to see well, to be able to focus well, to not be able to have hope.

so i wear glasses, and i take medication and i still sit here and wonder if i am really okay, and if god really loves me, and i hope so, but i still despair, and i still feel guilty about it.

is there any reconciliation?

i hope there is.

i despair that there is not.

Listening to: i am sitting in a room from the album “Alvn Lucier” by alvin lucier

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