On Friday night my mom and I went to see Christian comedian Chonda Pierce. I’ve heard bits and pieces of her act and she is FUNNY! What I was not prepared for was how powerful a speaker she was.
She has battled depression, something she writes about in her book Laughing in the Dark: A Comedian’s Journey through Depression. Toward the end of the evening she began to share about her recent relapse into depression – one that got so bad that she was eventually hospitalized.
She talked about how much she loved going to group each day and that she finally figured out why. It was the one place where she could go each day and be 100% totally authentic.
She said, and I agree, that this is what church should be but so many times it is not. We see a friend we know and ask “How are you?” We get the typical “I’m great, how are you?” in return. But is that the reality. Is that the truth? Granted we are often picking up kids and “busy” but shouldn’t church be the one place where we can say in response “You know, it’s been a tough week.”
Why are we afraid to be authentic with one another? Are we afraid of rejection? That the other person is too busy? That once we start into our problems that we won’t be able to stop and will be emotionally overwhelmed?
She made one other comment that, given all the recent discussion about depression I would share. She was talking about how Satan can just fill our heads with all kinds of lies that will absolutely drag us down.
“If Satan is the author of lies, then depression is his cell phone!”
How true. Those of us who have suffered through depression know that there is no time when our mind is more easily accessed and where those lies are heard loud and clear. I just loved it.