Sharon Smith spoke on Psalm 130, “Out of the depths.” Sharon is active in Sanctuary, an organization which helps ministers co-journey with parishioners troubled by depression. One such person once said that at night it is dark–and it is also dark in his mind; when the sun comes up, it is still dark in his mind. In such times, God seems absent, and the sufferer lacks even the energy to pray. Sharon then examined Psalm 130, noting how the bible’s “wisdom literature” portrays God being with someone suffering depression, etc. The “depths” (verse 1) can be very frightening (the same word is used in Ps. 69.1-2 for the frightening chaos of the depths of the Mediterranean Seas). Once this internal chaos is externalized and we are aware of it, how can we help? We might try to recall some dark depth we once experienced, remembering how it affected our world view. The Psalmist long ago bravely illustrated how to articulate a call to God for help. Verses 3-4 remind us that God does not keep track of our wrongs/difficulties, and that we are forgiven and understood. Sharon concluded with three practical ways we might help others:
1.go with them to see the doctor/counselor (sit in the waiting room, then be available to listen if listening is desired);
2.simply listen, not judgmentally, just be there; and
3.remind each other (verses 7-8) that God never gives up on us, God will be with us, redeem us.