This one was written during my mission days, when I was first diagnosed with clinical depression. While it begins with a darker tone, the conclusion is a ray of hope.
From the Front Lines
My sleep is but a shadow of a dream, bringing no rest to my soul and mind.
My eyes seek to close in slumber, seeking rest, respite, refuge, but none are found.
The waves of opposing troops have taken their toll
and contine to suck the life force out of me.
What can I do to bring rest to my soul?
Where can I find succor in my times of anguish?
I call to the Lord, but the pain leaves no room in my heart
for the spirit's sweet softness to fill and caress me, to take away my pain.
I have witnessed the falling away of so many by the wayside.
We are a reduced band of poorly trained infantry on the front lines of a bloody battle,
with casualties on all sides,
against a foe which grows in strength day by day as our forces dwindle and perish.
I know our Commander will never fail us, but oh, how often we fail him!
So many who, when they begin to equip the armor of God,
decide it weighs too much
and leave it in a heap upon the ground.
Why am I weakened?
Why can I not summon the spirit of victory to rally the scattered troops?
Why must so many fall by the wayside?
Beloved friends and bretheren,
struck down by the shafts in the whirlwind,
the fiery darts of the adversary piercing their hearts such that they are consumed from within.
Arms and ammunition are running low, morale is failing,
and only meager reinforcements are on the way.
Every step of the journey is harder,
skeletal hands reaching from the debris to clutch my ankles and drag me under.
I refuse to go down,
but already my strength has failed me.
I lean upon the sword of the spirit
and watch it sink into the muck below.
My helmet is dented, my breastplate battered,
and even the truth girt about my loins has lost its golden shine.
My feet are shod with the blood of my allies,
the gospel's sole being worn out long ago.
I must continue, in hopes of slaying another foe,
winning another ally, but the battle grows long, and I am weary.
Yet the great Commander holds my shield on high,
a gleam of light on the crimson sky,
calling me to lift my sword again and sound the battle cry,
"Hosannah! Hosannah! To God and the Lamb!"
The forces rally and we march again,
in the strength of our commander and the light of the shield of faith.
With holy zeal, we join the fray,
the spirit's blade gleaming with celestial flame as every stroke disarms a foe.
With every prayer, the blade is cleansed and sharpened,
ready to conquer the enemy and his minions.
We battle not against armies of flesh and blood,
and the weapons which seek to strike us are made of far more subtle things than steel and iron,
But our commander gives us strength and power so that,
together, we can conquer the prince of darkness and his malign power.
We battle not for power nor dominion, but for the glory of our Commander,
and the freedom and welfare of our brethren, our country, and our families.