Last week I heard the tragic news of a suicide. The only connection I had to this young man is that his mother is a member of the gym I work at.
Suicide is so...disturbing and unsettling. It make me feel so empty.
How, or more importantly why, does a person commit that final act? And those left behind, how do they cope with the loss and their utter abandonment?
I feel so very sad for that young man and for his family who must ask all the what if questions. If only...
Hopeless. That's what that young man must have felt.
Anything would be better than this.
So shockingly, horrifyingly tragic.
That very same day, as I was sitting in traffic, I heard of another suicide attempt. Only this time, the young man did not follow through with the plan to end his life.
He stood on the Golden Gate Bridge early in the afternoon. He was alone. He was suffering. The only thought in his mind was to end all the pain and emptiness. But as he stood there on the bridge another voice spoke through the fog of his depression. It reminded him how greatly loved he was. It spoke of mercy and strength. It spoke of peace.
No more striving.
No more seeking.
Only acceptance. Love. Forgiveness. Understanding.
And that young man got back in his car and sought out the mental care he needed. That young man remembered the God who loved him and who had promised not to forsake him. That young man lives today.
But I titled this blog post A Tale of Two Deaths you say. Of course I did, but where is the second death? Christ died. He died for the lost and the weary. He died for the wayward soul and the pious judge. He died so that people could live.
Sometimes we forget or ignore the cost of the cross. We'd rather not think about the brutality, the suffering, the horror of it. It's so easy to dismiss.
But every time I think about the pain of this world I cannot help but remember the Cross with it's agony and ultimate cost. And when I hear of the tragic death of a young man or the devastation of an earthquake I remember that God is always here.
I know you may disagree and you may shake your head and wonder where God is when these things happen? He is here and I for one am thankful that I have my faith. It's what sees me through the dark days and it's what gives me hope for a future.
I hope you'll pray for that young man's family and for all those who are battling losses. I hope you'll remember that when you hit rock bottom you are not alone. God is always there.