So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, ,whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Colossians 3:12-13 (NASB).
I guess if I were a savvy marketer, I would have tossed aside last week’s blog that I had already written, and tried to throw this one hurriedly together instead. But I guess no one ever accused me of having much in the way of street smarts. And this topic deserves more than a hastily written eulogy. Robin Williams (along with Harrison Ford and Will Smith) was one of my all time favorite actors. His suicide was a great blow to all his fans. But maybe it at least does have people openly discussing something usually only talked about in whispers: suicide.
About twenty five years ago, a close friend of our family committed suicide. Yes, we knew she was severely depressed. We had opened up our home to her to stay with us through the Christmas holidays because her children were with their father. Wade, who was her Sunday School teacher, had spent over two hours on the phone with her the night she died. When he hung up the phone, he thought she was better. The next morning they found her body in her car where she had died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
I have to admit, my first reaction wasn’t Christlike. It was anger. How could she do this to us and to her three daughters? Didn’t she know this was going to affect them for the rest of their lives? What more did she want from us? What more could we have done?
Having now almost been on the other side of that situation, I think I can kind of answer those questions. Yes, she knew, but she couldn’t really think about those things. All she could think about was the pain. Ending the pain was taking precedence over any other rational thoughts.
The Catholic Church used to see suicide as a mortal sin. I don’t know if this is still true or not. The thought was because you’re dead, there’s no way to repent of it. Most Protestant Christians believe that Christ died for all our sins, past, present, and future., So it’s not our immortal soul that is endangered by suicide if we truly knew Him to begin with. It’s our witness. Our legacy. How can we expect others to believe He is the answer when we don’t trust Him ourselves with our deepest hurts? .
But we are still frail humans. We have moments of weakness. And we must have compassion and love for one another in spite of our weaknesses. If you see someone talking about suicide, even jokingly, please don’t take it lightly. Try to get them help. Do everything you can do. But realize that if they’ve already made up their mind,,it’s not your fault if you’ve done everything you could and they did it anyway. Pray fervently for them before the fact, but release them to His hands afterwards. He is the only righteous Judge.
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: What would you like to say to someone contemplating suicide? Please be kind..