I was far beyond the power of prayer, I said,
past any fervent plea or desperate hope.
I stood within a place of solemn dread –
A black, sad land
no wider than one soul, my own.
Yet, in that narrow way
there crept, somehow a murmured sound,
A throb of thought that whispered “pray”.
And somehow doubting heart, resisting soul
re-found their way to prayer.
Then Courage, Faith, Strive On
oh many words were there.
And God’s own gentle peace in all and everywhere.
And this I learned from out numbed thought,
from bleak and black despair.
There is no night too dark, no space too small
no void too vast:
There is no point beyond the power of prayer.
By Betty Gibbs Ventura
This poem, written by my paternal grandmother, has been on my mind lately as I help a friend through a rough patch. I thought it was something that should be shared. Maybe it will help you or someone you know?
I don’t know much personally about mental illness other than I know it exists and is very real. I don’t suffer from depression. Never have. I have been lucky, even with all the times I have given birth, to not even suffer with postpartum depression. Why? I don’t know. I realize that is rare given how many children I have. It doesn’t mean I’m bouncing-off-the-walls happy all the time. I have my moments, just like you, of sadness or setbacks. They usually don’t last very long though.
I do have many friends and family members who have depression or some type of mental illness. Some are more open about it than others. I know I have made many, many mistakes in things I have said or done when talking or interacting with them. I’m still learning. Thankfully, these friends and family members have shown great patience with me as I continue to try to understand in some measure what they are going through. This article, Easing the Burdens of Mental Illness, has been extremely helpful as well.
If you suffer from depression or other mental illness what are some ways that others can help you? What are some things that are not helpful?