Peperkorn, Todd A. I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression. Roanoke, IL: Lutheran Catechetical Society, 2010. Video DVD. ($20.00 + $5.00 shipping) www.thelcs.org (LHP)
Mental illness still faces a stigma.
What if you are a Christian? Will people around you misunderstand? Will even family members misinterpret emotions and behaviors as a crisis of faith? (cf. p. 5)
What if you are a pastor? Can you imagine how depression would impact a life, a family, a ministry, a congregation?
Luther knew this struggle. So did C. F. W. Walther (2).
The Rev. Todd Peperkorn [then pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church, Kenosha, WI] and author of “I Trust When Dark My Road - A Lutheran View of Depression” leads his audience on a journey through the dark days of his own depression and illness… but leading ultimately to the cross of Christ where there is strength and hope. Through Him we have joy in sorrow.
Follow an ongoing discussion at Pr. Peperkorn’s website, http://www.darkmyroad.org.Well-suited for class or study-settings. A PDF copy of Peperkorn’s [LCMS World Relief and Human Care] book “I Trust When Dark My Road” is included on the DVD. (www.thelcs.org)
Depression is an illness, a result of the fall into sin. It is especially insidious because of how it "works into a mind, into a life" (34). I highly recommend spending extra time studying pages 34ff to better understand the distinctions Peperkorn shares between faith, facts, and feelings. He needed the "for you" Gospel of Christ specifically and personally applied to him by congregation members, his family, and his pastor (cf. 99 on why pastors need pastors, too).
What do I do if a loved one suffers from depression? Consider the suggestions of Appendix I:
- Talk to them
- Talk to their spouse
- Give them space but don't avoid them
- Don't give up
The Rev. Todd Peperkorn is Senior Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church (August 2011 – Present), Rocklin, CA.
Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.