Chapter 21 » 21.61

Suffering and healing

Bernard Brett (1935–1982) had severe cerebral palsy; he joined Friends in Colchester and worked tirelessly to help others.

At some times I have felt very definitely the guiding hand of God, steering my life in certain directions and this is a very wonderful and rich feeling. Yet at other times, and for quite long periods, I have known the empty loneliness and even despair which comes from depression. Everything seems dry and arid, and friendships which at other times are a source of joy seem empty and meaningless. There are times when God and my personal faith seem to be completely beyond my reach or understanding. These are frightening times, because the work or activities I seek to do have no apparent value or reason. Life seems an endless struggle and the prospect of having to live within the extreme limitations of my disabilities, with the knowledge that with the passing years they will become rather worse than better, is a daunting thought. There are some mornings when I wake up during times of depression when I simply want to cease living.

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