(Prologue - I wrote this a few weeks ago, and was unsure about posting it here, but feel like I should. It's a weighty topic, so please read with caution and care...)
There was a suicide on Sunday - a teenaged boy - 17. No one was aware/had any idea he was on that road.
It makes my heart ache, for so many reasons. My grandfather killed himself when my dad was 7, and I've
often times wondered how that act NOT happening would've changed my family. I wonder about the man -
the man from whom my father got his ears, whom my grandmother has referred to as 'the best man', even
though his action left her a jobless widow at 25 with 3 children 7 and younger; the man through whom she
became a Christian.
So suicide on one side of the family, and depression on the other. I can honestly say that if I weren't a
Christian, I would've probably killed myself by now. Being outside the mainstream can be so lonely, aching,
and overwhelming. There have even been times since my conversion where I have felt no desire to go on.
And it's in those moments when I've cried out to God and He 'uses pain as His megaphone' (to use a C.S.
Lewis phrase) with me, but only after coming to me in my sackcloth and ashes, and sitting with me in the
silence--until I am ready to listen.
A few months ago, someone I care about was put on suicide watch for a stretch of time. I did not know all
of the particulars, but I cried. I cried with relief because the act hadn't happened, and I cried that he felt that
it could be an option, and I cried because I knew from experience how the hopelessness can be a weighty,
choking presence. I wish I didn't. I wish things were different. But they aren't. Life moves forward, and new
obstacles that are built-up versions of the same old ones are placed in the way. We dodge and maneuver as
best we can, hopefully with a learning curve.
May we always have the ability to have our hearts broken, so that we may encounter God there, and
re-learn the important things of life.