Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is Suicide Cowardly?

Last night my husband told me that Rick Warren and his wife were going to be on the Piers Morgan program tonight talking about the death of his son through suicide. I don’t like Piers Morgan, but I do like Rick Warren and prayed for the heartache he and his wife suffered over the tragic loss of their son. Any parent can imagine the horror and anguish of such an ordeal.

Everyone has their opinion on suicide and most have been touched or known someone whose life ended that way, or who have contemplated ending their life through suicide.  I’ve heard some people say suicide is the coward’s way out – that it’s selfish because of the tremendous hurt it causes those left behind.

My question is: Have you ever been suicidal? Felt despair so deep you didn’t want to live? If you answer no, then you have no idea what drives a person to this. I’m not talking about a trendy gesture some have who think suicide is noble, grand or romantic. It’s not!

I was a twenty-three-year-old, young mother of four – yes, you read that right – when on
a summer, mid-afternoon day, a ten-year-old neighbor girl, surrounded by six of her younger siblings, was pounding on my door, screaming hysterically, “Please, help my mom!”

I took off sprinting behind this passel of kids, raising my hand to wave to my elderly neighbor, Sarah, whose house was between mine and the one I was running to. Fully expecting to see a woman who had fainted, or fallen, I stopped, numb with shock, at what I saw. I first took in the crying baby standing at the foot of the bed in a pool of blood, then my eyes traveled to the woman lying on the bed and the gun laying next to her head.

That was 1971. I seldom think about it, and I wonder why. Sometimes I do think of those eight young children, and wonder if they were able to in some extent, overcome – you never completely overcome – the sight of their mother that day. I have often wondered what led up to that horrible day for this sweet mother of many. To some degree, I understand the deep despair that leads to such an excruciating, hopeless decision. I have scars on my wrist to prove it.

Only Jesus can give hope to elevate us from that kind of consuming despair. My prayer for you is that you know that hope Jesus offers, AND that you are sensitive to someone you are close to who may be feeling that despair and hopelessness.  

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