Friday, May 3, 2013
Quote of the Day: “The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.” ― Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables"
Almost every single missionary suffers from depression at some point. If you Google the term "missionary depression" this phrase appears in a few seconds at the upper left of the page: About 6,760,000 results. That should give you some idea of how pervasive depression is for missionaries. After all, they have left their homes, families, friends, culture, and in most cases, language to travel to places way beyond their comfort zones. The single ones seem to succumb to depression faster than the married ones and the married ones with families, but all eventually feel frustrated, alienated, alone, unable to communicate, and unable to find all the friendly, comfort items associated with their past lives--like Kleenex or Chapstick, the things you can find at any nearby drug store or fast food. We all know why we have left our comfortable and friendly world behind, but it is not always easy to keep our noble ideals in the forefront of our thoughts. Even Mother Theresa expressed her depression in the letters published after her death. Yet, she never stopped doing what she was called to do--and basically, neither do we. As the quote above points out, we frequently find God through our own misfortune. I was feeling down this morning (not a rare thing) when Charlini showed up because she was suffering from malaria and couldn't go to school. To see a six-year-old orphan coming to me for comfort from her malaria was just like a dilated pupil that finally finds the light. None of my emotional pains could trump taking care of a sick child that turned to me for comfort. We are here for her if for no one else. We are here because this where God called us to be, and we are obedient, faithful, and, in the end, stronger than we ever thought. God is good even if it is hard for us to see sometimes.