This episode should remind us all that stress and depression are real diseases that have real consequences for those who suffer from them. The debilitating effects of a wounded psyche can often be more harmful than broken bones or pulled muscles. People can't just "snap out of it" - they need medication and the input of health professionals if they are to deal with their condition effectively.
We might think that only "losers" can suffer from this disease - yet here is an accomplished and respected sportsman whose entire playing future is now in doubt.
This is a letter I wrote which was published in last Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald. Last night I was watching the Fox Sports show "The Back Page" with Peter FitzSimons and Mike Gibson and others. They had a lengthy discussion about Trescothick and the effects of depression. They then showed the letter immediately before mine from the Herald and discussed it. Virtually everything they were talking about was pretty much lifted from my letter. Cool!
If true, this is a shocking situation. Haggard is the President of the National Association of Evangelicals and is probably one step down from James Dobson as America's best known evangelical leader.
It has been reported for many years that Haggard was an Open Theist. I was always uncomfortable with his leadership because of this - not to mention his relationship with George W. Bush.
In response to these allegations, Haggard has voluntarily stepped down from all his leadership positions until the matter has been sorted out. This should not be interpreted as an admission of guilt, since I would probably do the same thing if I was innocent of such charges.
We should pray that he relies upon the goodness of the sovereign Lord.