Many have attempted to describe the indescribable pain of depression. Numerous similes and metaphors have been used to convey depression’s deep, deep agonies. However, I don’t think I’ve seen anything come so close to describing the indescribable as this deeply moving poem by my Christian friend, Sue Lubbers.

Three things make this poem especially touching. First, it was written by a Christian, which actually adds another layer to the suffering.  The Christian with depression not only loses physical energy, intellectual ability, and emotional activity, but the most precious thing in their life feels lost – their spiritual relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Second, the poem is breathtakingly honest. It does not attempt to gloss over or minimize the horrific thoughts and feelings that stalk and haunt the soul in this desolate valley. It is so far removed from the shallow and artificial triumphalism of so much of modern Christianity. It is much more reminiscent of the deep and realistic piety we find in many of the Psalms, in Job, and in Jeremiah.

Third, the poem holds out great hope for those still passing through these deep waters. To get maximum benefit, don’t read across the two columns. Rather, read the whole of the first column. Then start reading down the second column, comparing it as you go with the parallel line in the first column. What a transformation! The Lord has revolutionized this dear believer’s life. If you, or a loved one, are still in column one, then read column two and see what our almighty and gracious God can do in the most desperate of situations.

And if the Lord has spared you this affliction, then thank him for His undeserved favor towards you, and use the poem to cultivate sympathy and understanding for sufferers.

Picture: 2008 © Michele Piacqadio. Image from

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  • Barry

    I am so thankful for information such as this post which can assure folks in the deep of many things: they are not alone, the darkness will end, they have NOT been abandoned! Last week in our small group, a sister confimed for me what I’d learned was most painful – the mental and cognitive “impairments” often experienced during depression\anxiety make it most difficult to cope with the entire suite of negative impacts be they physical, emotional and/or spiritual. Furthermore, for the Christian it usually becomes a period of acute spiritual warfare, and the *enemy* goes straight for the spritual jugular – our joy and assurance of salvation! So, David, may our Lord apply the encouragement of your words as grace and healing to His sheep. In closing, during my recent lengthy depression, I was strengthened mightily by a song (“I Will Praise You in this Storm”, Casting Crowns) and a booklet (When the Darkness Does Not Lift, John Piper). The lyrics and narrative in each are potent.

  • David Murray

    I’m so glad this helped you Barry. John Piper’s book is one of the best around on this subject.