Wounded healers (@sallysjourney)

holding hands (1)Over the last few days I have been blogging about depression, it is something that is part of my life at the moment, and I was encouraged to find that I am not the only one talking about this, the post from Fr David Cloake really resonated with me. Mostly because it is something that we need to talk about, and something that we are reluctant to do.

I wonder about our reluctance as I ponder the story of Ruth, I will unashamedly use the same quote as Fr David, for to me Ruth’s decision to accompany Naomi is powerful;

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me

Her choice to walk with her mother-in-law not only through her pain but also in a shared pain displays an inner strength and a holy empathy. As I ponder the journey of these two women who had lost everything in the light of the slim hope that they would be accepted and cared for in what for Ruth was going to be a foreign land I wonder how they sustained one another along the way. Surely deep groaning prayers of lament had to be a part of their journey and it would have been both an individual and a shared lament. I wonder dare we believe that pain can invite us into a journey of healing and restoration if we dare to let it, and perhaps especially so if we dare to journey together.

I guess I am talking about vulnerability here, and for me today that means being vulnerable in who I am and where I am, I have made the decision to answer people truthfully about how I am, not all the gory details of course but an admission of depression and how that is at least in part affecting my life. As I have done so I have noticed that people are beginning to open up to me, we are sharing prayers and pains in a deeper way than I might have envisaged and together we are journeying towards a new place of wholeness. On my own blog I wrote today about Sunday best Christianity and our tendency to only want to share the “good stuff”, I think Ruth challenges us to move towards an earthy and grounded decision to walk in the truth of our condition, and that by doing so we might inadvertently find ourselves walking in the light, something we may have felt unworthy of for surely the kingdom of heaven is not open to the down and out or the depressed.

The wonderful truth is different of course, and if we dare to place ourselves into the hands of the one who loves us more deeply than we could ever know responding to his invitation to place our hands into his we will discover there through his wounds a place of healing, and in that healing a fresh strength to walk with others on the way, even in our brokenness.

About Sally Coleman

Practical Theologian, Methodist Minister, mother of 5 adult children, and grandmother to 2, keen swimmer, book worn and amateur photographer, nowhere is better than the beach...