Here is to the faceless mass.
The pursuit of a movement. The pursuit of “wanting to do something significant.” The pursuit of meaning something to others.
All of it can seem so good. Yet, none of this has a personalized face. It is all made up of incredibly personal stories though. Some victories. Some defeats. Some scars. Some still open wounds.
Let me allow you in on a secret.
It can be deadly.
I have done all of them.
I am writing this post not even mainly for me. I am writing to speak up for many people (not every person is like this) who walk in what seems to be success, yet are a shell of humanity. The plagues of depression and uncertainty claw at them. Many of them will even admit it from a stage. After all, a stage is pretty safe. The “masses” still have a way of keeping a distance, while vocalizing how “real” the person is on stage.
For the last 5-6 weeks I went through a deep time of depression. So, if you talked to me or saw me face to face, I would guess you did not even know. This is not a point of bragging. My point is that I can still function at a very high level (even give you a smile), while going through these times. My point is the only way you might know is if you asked. My point is that I am asking you to not assume. My point is that I am not blaming you for anything, but just pointing out that what you see is not always what is truly there.
It was one of the most intense spells I have ever experienced. The difference this time was that I had a small group of folks walk through it with me. You see, I would normally wait until the period was over and then I would tell someone. This time, I said, was enough. I had Amber, several guys on the board at His Voice, Josh Causey, Spencer and Sarah Norman, Megan Kelly, and Adam Zapp know about it. In fact, while we were in Baton Rouge, that group of friends took time out and prayed over me. It was water to my soul.
I know that some people struggle with depression more than others do, so I am not just trying to be a downer. I want you to know that the more I have people really dig in my life, the more it is a balm to help heal the fractures that loud voices of desperation leave behind. I am not an anomaly. Many exist.
I travel a bunch so ongoing face to face community can be even more tough, so here are some suggestions for you that I have learned in trying to invest in others, while still not necessarily always being able to be face to face.
1. Text. Text. Text. When you are praying for a person, text them the verse or whatever you have been praying over them. Don’t expect a reply (after all, that would really show you are texting the person for your self). Let them know you care. Yet, don’t just do this when people are having a difficult time. Make it a habit. Good times. Bad times. Failures. Victories.
2. Write a hand written letter or note. There is something about getting a hand written note that is fairly intimate. It shows a depth of care.
3. Get creative. Quit staying silent on encouragement.
I want to encourage you to look at people who are leading you, AND people who are not, and then engage them with encouragement.
It helps to personalize. It helps to keep people from hiding behind a stage or a book or their silence. It helps speak the truth of Life into others. It helps to put a face to each individual that makes up the masses.