A very real dynamic in writing a book on suffering is that my heart hurts for so many who write me about their hopeless situations and deep pain. One recent comment is signed simply, Anonymous:
“I’ve read your book. I believe in Jesus. I’ve been depressed all my life. Sometimes I’m better, but usually I’m not. Right now, I’m not okay. I keep thinking about you saying that thinking about your grandson kept you from taking your life. But that’s not making a difference for me. Nothing’s making a difference for me. Not my family. Not my friends. Not God. I don’t know how to pray anymore. I just don’t care anymore. I’m old and tired and broken an unable to do or be anything for God. I’ve been fighting a long time and I’m weary. But perhaps there’s still a thin strand of hope somewhere.”
My reply is a message to every hopeless heart who feels “anonymous.” Anonymous is an adjective that means “without any name acknowledged, of unknown name, lacking individuality, unique character, or distinction.” When we claim it as a noun, even our title, it screams loneliness and despair.
Here’s what I want to say to this dear, suffering one who feels so anonymous: You may be anonymous to me and feel anonymous to everyone on earth, but you are not anonymous to God. You are not lacking individuality in His eyes; you’re as special as you can be. You are not without unique character to Him; He broke the mold after He made you–He only wants one you. He distinguishes you from all others and never misses an event in your life or a thought in your mind. He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die in your place.
Are you feeling “Anonymous” today? Draw near to the God who loves you and tell Him, “Ed says I’m special. Please help me believe that today.”
God bless you, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous. And may His grace and mercy touch your life in ways that will remind you of His love and compassion for brokenhearted people just like you.