Monday, February 11, 2013

Suicide

My Monday morning was different than usual; I went to a funeral. The adult son of a close friend committed suicide last week.

I didn't know the son but it became clear from the memorial service that he had a lot going for him and was loved by many people.

Last week someone angrily said that people who commit suicide are completely selfish. Someone else said that it's not selfishness but a loss of hope. I agree with the view that it is a loss of hope. If I wanted to be selfish I could break your kneecaps or stay around and make your life miserable.

Suicide is something hard to talk about. If I was having those feelings who could I tell? Some people would tell you that you are stupid and need to get a grip. Others might think you need to be put away because you are probably a danger to yourself and others. Others would be preoccupied with their own life and either not care or think you couldn't be serious.

It would be hard to admit that you have lost hope. It may seem irrational. How could you lose hope when you have so much going for you? Maybe it is a loss of perspective; in isolation you are blinded.

I was thinking of the movie, It's a Wonderful Life.  Jimmy Stuart's character, George Bailey,  is on the edge of suicide. An angel gives him a view of all of the lives who have been positively touched by him and how his town would have been completely different if he hadn't been born.

But what if you believe that it isn't a wonderful life. What if you are told what a bad person you are, how you keep screwing up and will probably never change. What about the young kids who are bullied by a classmate and driven to a place of darkness and isolation. Are they selfish when they pull the plug? Sometimes it's easier to believe that maybe the world would have been a better place if you had never been born.

So it is a complex and very sad situation. What can we do? I guess we should be careful of what words we send towards people. How can we send hope even when someone is messing up? What about when we are the one sliding towards despair? That is when we need to remember how God views us. In His perfection He has a right to judge and in knowing everything about us He could sure keep a nice list that He could smack us in the face with every once in a while. But He doesn't. He keeps speaking loving, hope filled words, telling us that we can be forgiven and showing us what we can be.

I guess we need to know that someone believes in us and thinks we are valuable even when they know all of our crap. The truth is, that is very hard to find. If you are a man, let me recommend a place I have discovered, it's called the Samson Society. We meet every week. Check us out, it may be just what you are looking for.

Denver Samson Society

I would really like to know your thoughts on this subject.

Philip

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