Is depression an indication of sin in a believer’s life? I think many Christians struggle with how to deal with depression—their own and other’s. In fact, our friend, Fran, faces that situation as we catch up with what’s been happening in her life.

I periodically tell this on-going story of a fictional workplace woman named Fran, who is in the process of learning to be aware of the truth that Jesus is with her at all times—even at work.

Fran has a very good friend where she works, Louise, who is also a believer. They meet each week to pray for their company and coworkers, and have seen God answer many prayers on their jobs.

Lately, Fran has noticed that Louise is just not herself. In fact, for the past two weeks, she has canceled their prayer time with what seemed like last-minute, flimsy excuses. It has Fran baffled really, because it just isn’t like Louise. She can sense that Louise is backing away from her.

Fran has been talking to Jesus about this situation. “Lord,” she says, “I’m puzzled as to what is wrong with Louise. Have I offended her in some way? Have I failed to be the friend she needs? Lord, please show me what I am supposed to do; make me aware of any hidden errors on my part; give me wisdom to be a good friend to Louise as she has been to me so many times.”

After much prayer, Fran finally decides she needs to say something to Louise. She prays about what to say and when, and the next day at work she catches her just as she’s leaving for the day.

“Oh, Louise, I’m so glad I caught you now. I just have to know, Louise, if I have done anything to offend you. Please tell me, because I can sense something is wrong and I just don’t know what to do.”

Fran looks at her and realizes that Louise has begun to softly cry. “Oh, my,” Fran says, “I have done something, haven’t I?”

Quietly Louise replies, “No, no, Fran, it’s not you. I don’t know what it is. I’m just. . .

just. . .depressed, I guess.” And with those words, Louise runs out of the building to the parking lot and drives away without giving Fran a chance to respond.

Depressed? Fran thinks. Why is Louise depressed?