The Cancer Called Despair

Guilt and shame are the mental/emotional cancer of prostituted persons, eating away at the very core of their being, slowly consuming the individual’s joy, hope, and life. —Christine Clarity McDonald

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines despair as, “a feeling of being without hope or of not being able to improve a situation.” Despair is not a respecter of persons. It does not care whether you have much or have little, or whether you are a saint or a sinner.

The Scriptures are full of people experiencing despair. David wrote in Psalm 40:2, “For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.”

The prophet Isaiah also spoke of despair in Isaiah 59:9: “So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.”

If permitted, despair will take everything from us, including our lives. It is a lie that seeks to end our fight for life and hope in this world. At times it is even spurred on by well–intentioned but misguided people, agencies, policies, governments, and even churches.

Wherever we live, wherever our sphere of influence exists, we should consider how we can establish and maintain hope in those around us. Just as despair, guilt, and shame rob us of life, hope breathes life back into us.

God never leaves us or forsakes us. Even the smallest glimmers of hope are sparks of God beckoning us to Him. There are many moments in my life when, though I had not yet found God, I heard the whisper of hope.

Romans 5:3–5 “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

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