called by name

I have been thinking a lot about episode 1 of season 1 of The Chosen, “I Have Called You By Name”. I was struck by Mary Magdalene – abandoned by her religion and given up on herself. I really like the scene where she stands at the cliff and looks over the edge. I can really identify with her struggle.

Sometimes, for me, living with depression is like standing on the edge. Not that I want to jump but there is a feeling of being “unloveable”. I have very much felt like I am beyond being loved. I am so broken, so beyond redemption, that no person can ever really love me. They may say that they do but really they are just pretending. And when you have been abandoned by people it is very hard to trust people again.

I remember so many sermons about “anxiety” and “Give it to the Lord” that were really unhelpful. I have been told by a person, in a church, that all anxiety and depression is demon possession. I have often wondered if the person thought I should not attend. Religious people, with the best of intensions, give advice that is often very unhelpful. There are exceptions – and thank God for those – but there are also many who simply do not understand and do not identify with the struggle and the pain.

I have learned that depression is part of me. There is no “fix”. I have to live with it.

The part of The Chosen that really got to me this time was Jesus. At the end He embraces Mary – the person on whom everyone had given up and who had given up on herself. He calls her by name – an intimate act of love. No one – including me – is ever beyond God’s love. No person is unworthy of Jesus’ love – no person is unworthy of hope.

I am extremely thankful for the hope that so many people of faith have given me. Yet it is not them who give me hope. It is Jesus – His living presence with me now and always. His presence in the darkness – on the edge of the cliff. And it is the intimacy of the relationship that brings that hope. He has called me by name and I can call His name.

I know what is coming in The Chosen, that great line by Mary. But this week I am thinking about how a person who was a nobody is a somebody in Jesus. How I am loved!!!

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