One of the first Christian songs that really spoke to me in 1989 after I dedicated my life to serving Jesus was a song titled Hope for the Hopeless by Sheila Walsh. I would listen to the song repeatedly as I prayed. When I would stop by the local Christian bookstore, I would look to see if there was a new CD by Sheila Walsh. She began to co-host a Christian talk show. Then it seemed like she just dropped off the scene.
As Christians we are not immune to health issues. Cancer, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, are some of the physical ailments that we readily reach out to people suffering from them. We offer to pray for them. We empathize with them. We might even offer help in various ways.
Our bodies are interwoven wonders of God’s creation, but we live in a fallen world that has death and disease until the day our Lord returns. Our brains are part of our physical bodies. So if someone struggles with depression, anxiety or other mental health issue, perhaps we should be slow to judge or actually not judge at all. Mental health issues can have physical causes not only spiritual causes.
Whatever the cause, we are called by God to reach out to those struggling. God calls us to bear one another burdens. Jesus invited all who are weary to come to him to find rest. Yes perhaps the issue is connected to a struggle with sin, but the answer to sin is God’s grace and we are not to judge but to desire to help the person. The cause could very well be connected to a past trauma and the person is in need of supportive friends. The cause that we seem to be resistant to is a physiological cause whether it be a chemical imbalance, or other physical issues. If you have Netflix, check out the movie Brain on Fire about a young woman who people thought had bipolar or schizophrenia but it turned out an autoimmune disease was attacking her brain.
I admire Sheila Walsh much more now than I did when I listened to her song Hope for the Hopeless. The reason is how she is sharing her experience to bring hope to many. The reason she seemed to disappear from the Christian music/entertainment scene was she struggled with clinical depression. She sought out help and now shares her experience with others. She has a message the church/we can benefit from.
My hope is that we the church, those who profess to follow Jesus, will become more sensitized to mental health issues. The person struggling with depression might even be your pastor. I watch a video recently by a pastor who struggled with depression. If you want to watch his video click on- video
Here is an video of a fairly recent interview with Sheila Walsh sharing about depression and what helped her. Thank you for reading. God Bless.