Daivid experienced a few "low" days in those early years with the sheep. Some of the most beautiful Psalms were born in those days of pouring out his heart in the midst of the congregation of "Baaaa, Baaaaaa." Of course I have my down days too, but everyone around me sounds more like, "blah, blah, blah".
What does a depressed chicken farmer look and act like? Here's the scoop so you'll know one when you see one. (OK this is more for my family and employees so they will recognize the symptoms and follow the protocol. Most likely you'll never meet a depressed chicken farmer.)
The signs are:
1. I wear my pajamas to the chicken house. I'm going to have to shower and change clothes anyway, why change twice.
2. While in the chicken house I seek out the lonely hens, those alone in their own suffering. I plop down on the wood chips ready to swap woes with my new friend. I quickly move on though, when I realize she is isolated because she is unconscious and will probably find relief before I do.
3. I encourage and empathize with the hens who are daily struggling to produce eggs receiving no appreciation or gratitude.
4. I grieve for the hens producing offspring that they will never meet or cuddle under their wings.
5. I am overwhelmed with sympathy for the hens because they have cycles DAILY not monthly.
6. I lecture the roosters for being unsupportive and oblivious to the needs around them.
7. I lecture the roosters for the large amounts of waste in inappropriate places. Two areas in the building 12 feet by 400 feet provided for their "personal" needs and they still use the area we walk in! When I use the phrase,"and put the seat back down!" I am met with blank bug eyed stares.
"It's a metaphor! But you know what I'm talking about!" ( I think I heard the toilet seat slammed down in the employee bathroom.)
8.I walk around the chicken house three times before I recognize the door.
9. I stand at the door and cry for an hour worried about what new burdens wait on the other side of the door.
10. I cry in fear that I might have locked myself in again.
11. I cry in relief when I find the door is not locked.
11. I cry in anxiety when I realize I have no excuse not to exit the door.
12. I cry because for the life of me, I can't figure out why God felt the need to put me in a chicken house with 30,000 chickens.
13. I cry because I can't stop crying.
I hate those days depression slips in and robs me of energy and motivation. It's like walking around in a cloud, and no one else can see the storm. I've been told to thank God, by faith, for the sun shining on me, while my downcast eyes can only see the dried mascara stains on my shirt, well, my pajamas, and my two mismatched socks, because I didn't have the energy to find matching ones. I've been told Christians shouldn't get depressed. My response, if you've never been depressed, you might not be saved. I would love to have seen David's face when a priest may have told him, "Your Highness, godly people don't get depressed." His response might have been, "Let's test that theory. You are hereby removed from the temple and banished to the field with the sheep. Here take a box of Kleenex, you're going to need it."
How would you describe the following people's probable mental state:
Adam and Eve their first day outside the Garden of Eden Gates.
Sarah's first glimpse of Abraham holding Ishmael as a newborn.
Abraham's three day journey to the Mount to sacrifice Isaac.
Jacob's first breakfast with his bride Leah.
Esau's dinner of leftover venison stew.
I would have to say one word sums it up-depressed.
I don't believe there is any shame in being depressed. But I do believe it is how a Christian handles depression that sets us apart from the world. We don't turn to alcohol, foul language, or ungodly behavior to deal with it. We consult our Great Physician, who in my case, led me to a godly physican. Together, the latter is allowing the former to guide and lead him in treating me. I have found that David's words become more than ink on a page, and more of the echo of my heart, as I relate to his heart, and find comfort in His God and mine. It is the Hope of what God can do with our present situation that sets us apart, and pulls us from the pit. It is the Light of God's Word that can still break through the darkest of fogs enveloping our minds. And it is the Love of God that finds us, keeps us, draws us, and joins us no matter where we are, however much like hell it may seem.
"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
If you are depressed....I am praying for you as you read this. ( I know. "blah, blah, blah.)
If you are not depressed....congratulations!
Hopefully, 7,000 hens will have a better tomorrow because I straighted out the males in their lives today...... only 1 more male to go. Oh, honey.......