The Journey 150
Heart Attack and Cancer are considered as the most fatal health condition that takes the lives of the maximum number of people. But I believe there is another silent killer which most of us fail to diagnose or in other words can also lead to this fatal health condition. This silent killer is known as “Depression”. The culture prevalent in the US can be termed as “depressive”. This is because according to the pharmacist and medical fraternity, the sales of depression medicines over the years have gone up by 400 percent. According to Pastor Perry Noble of New Spring Church, United States is the most richest and the most depressed county in the world. What is very disheartening about this whole issue of depression is that we as Christians do not address this issue, as we are not comfortable dealing with such sensitive issue. I feel this may be because the culture that is prevalent in our church sometimes, does not help to create an intimacy nor a sense of confidentiality among the families or individual, so that they feel free to share their anxiety or depression. Moreover everyone wants to feel good in the church and do not want to tell others that they go through problems like depression or sickness. As a result there are many members in the church who are battling different issues all by themselves and thus going through depression in life. Last week while leading the worship service at the Philadelphia Marthoma Church, the whole worshipping community came together to pray for a family who attended worship along with their two year old girl. This little girl is going to undergo chemotherapy later this week. It is was heartwarming to see how the whole worshipping community prayed for the family. But what about those people who are not able to share their pain with others and where you don't have anyone to pray for?.
This week we are meditating on the theme “ Transformation in the life of the sick and suffering”. The portion that we are using for our meditation is from 2 Kings 5:1-27. This portion describes a pitiable condition of a Naman, the Syrian commander who I believe was also going through what I term as depression and pain because of his physical condition. As we know through the understanding of the Old Testament times, his was one of the disease that makes a person socially ostracized. It is in this context that the slave girl becomes sensitive to the need to the Naman. What is wonderful about the girl is that nobody tells her about Naman’s condition but she is quick to discern the suffering that her master goes through. It is this genuiness, the love for her master and the Lord, the sensitivity of heart to understand what the other person is going through, that forces her to tell Naman’s wife, where they can find help. A young girl who moves out of her so called little world to go out of her way to understand the need of her master, and help him. I think as we deal with the issues faced by the people who suffer due to sickness and other health issues what is required from us is to be sensitive to their need, a helping hand, a caring heart and a shoulder to lean on. It is this support that becomes a source of healing for the suffering people and also a strength to face depressive tendency that may arise because of ones physical condition. Let us take a commitment that we will be like that slave girl who came out of her world to be source of hope for the depressed.