Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Healing Balm.


Like a heavy, damp blanket, the weight of it swallowed me.  My eyes looked up, but the tears blurred my vision.  I swallowed, and it seemed as if my tongue had tied itself in a knot.  In the pit of my stomach, a gnawing pain seemed to me as if it would eat through my whole being, and in a way, I wished it would and be done with it.

There have been a few times in my life when I experienced this.  I have run into people who, when the subject comes up, casually say, "Oh, I have never felt that.  I have never had anything to be depressed about," as if the insatiable grip of this horrendous captor can actually be chosen somehow.  It isn't a wandering tramp that one invites in for tea.
 
No, not at all.

The occasions that I found myself suddenly facing the drowning feeling of depression were not my choice.  A couple of times, they were consequences of my own actions. The other was totally out of my control: a bout with infertility.

To those who have experienced depression, it is not a light topic.  Those who dismiss it as such have never battled it's breath-removing, heart palpitating crashes, like a javelin thrust through, not seen in coming.  Pain is hard to live with.  Abuse is intolerable.  Depression is merciless and overwhelming.

When I found myself paralyzed in it's grip, begging God to help me from that place of heaviness, there was a path of solace I found to lift me up.  It was God's answer to me, His calm in the storm, and once I found it, when the demon of depression fired on me, I brought myself to it's seat and forced my fingers to move.

 It was my piano.


Through tear-filled eyes, my hands would reach for the hymnal.  It often didn't matter what page I opened to.  Hymns have a way with the soul.  They reach through the sickness and spread their words of wealth; but not just the words...the melody that clothed them, the two working together, like fire and wood, to warm and cleanse and stir to life the parts of the soul that felt as if they were bleeding.

Music is incredible.  It wakens.  This tool we so easily have in our lives can be the honey in our hives, the salt in our broth.  It is more powerful than we realize.  We choose everyday what we will do with it.  We have 24 hours in a day, 1440 minutes each day to fill with something.  The choice of what to bathe our soul with is not a small one.



I spent countless hours rumbling my fingers up and down the keyboard during those dark spots, an instrument I am not thoroughly trained in, but the effort and time built chords and drifted my soul out of the hold. Like medicine, it healed and let me get up from a place I thought would swallow me up.  Like Saul with his bouts of overwhelming terror, the music David strummed on his harp vanquished his moments and brought peace.

I was thinking of the gift that music is the other day when I heard my child singing.  Sometimes empty, pointless words are fun and great for a smile, but I realized I needed to find some more music to embed words that may someday come back to help them, words with salve for their souls.  Making a place for worthwhile music is a gift that never stops living.  I am thankful for the balm of praise.  It is a priceless medicine.


 Here is one hymn I loved especially during those times where I was sinking.


  1. Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
    Too deeply for mirth or song,
    As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
    And the way grows weary and long?
    • Refrain:
      Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
      His heart is touched with my grief;
      When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
      I know my Savior cares.
  2. Does Jesus care when my way is dark
    With a nameless dread and fear?
    As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
    Does He care enough to be near?
  3. Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
    To resist some temptation strong;
    When for my deep grief there is no relief,
    Though my tears flow all the night long?
  4. Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
    To the dearest on earth to me,
    And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
    Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.


I love this one, too.

12 comments:

  1. I can totally relate! Although I have never hit a deep depression, there have been times where it seemed only playing the piano would help ease the pain. Of course, sometimes you have to squint through the tears to see the page! :)

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    1. Pianos are so wonderful, aren't they. :)

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  2. My mother went to be with the Lord in August, and sometimes I will sit at my piano and play the old hymns that we sang together. "Does Jesus Care" is one that I have been singing a lot over the past 2 months. Another one that I have been singing and playing is "What a Day That Will Be."

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    1. I am sorry about the loss of your mom. I can't imagine how hard that must be. Those are great songs...and it will be a GREAT day when we see all those who have gone before,especially those we really miss. :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I too suffer from depression, it seems to come on for no reason. Your description is exactly how I feel. Christian music helps carry me through, right now it is the song "Overcomer" by Mandisa, also I find Casting Crowns music very helpful. Youtube is my resource for uplifting music. Also I find art journaling very helpful, if I can get myself to actually sit down and open the book and start putting materials on the page. Also going for a walk helps, if I can get myself outside. It is a struggle, I keep praying my way through, I also bind the power of satan, and claim the power of God through Christ over this illness.
    Jacquelene L

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    1. I will pray for you, Jacquelene. You are never alone and God is great! I'm thankful you find help

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  4. I can understand this. I play the piano, and there have been times I've been sad and felt I can express my sadness through music. I know God is going to help you through if you lean on Him!!

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    1. Thank you, Catie. He always does, doesn't He? :)

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  5. I, too, receive great comfort from music, both listening to it and singing it myself. It is elemental.

    =)

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    1. Yes, your blog is always fun to listen to as well as read. :)

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  6. Thank God for His music for it truly does calm the soul. Loved the last song, Across the Lands!

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