25 Oct 2018

We All Have A Part In This!

A couple of days ago my husband and I received a phone call that penetrated us to our very core and rendered us motionless. A young man of just 23 years, took his life. It appeared that he had everything to live for; he had just received a very prestigious award for his musical talent as a classically trained pianist. When we saw him just over two weeks ago he seemed vibrant, ambitious, and when he greeted us he seemed genuinely happy and excited about life. But deep inside, there very possibly was a place that no one had ever invaded but His God. One person’s life ended by the tragedy of suicide is one too many, however this is becoming all too common.

Since the news of this outstanding, gifted young man’s death, I have read several Facebook posts of persons stating the need for us to step up and do something. From the Presiding Bishop of his religious affiliation, to persons who work in the field of mental health, to friends and associates. Right now, the devastation is still very fresh, the sting and the pain can be felt, and all who knew him are still in disbelief. I am certain that it will be almost impossible to get a seat at his homegoing service. But what happens after that will determine how many more precious people we will lose. How soon will our hearts be shattered again over something that could be stopped? We may not have the platform of a healthcare professional or have a congregation we can address on a Sunday morning but there is something we can all do.

It is time that we stop being too busy being busy! Too busy to slow down and notice that someone right beside you, maybe living with you in your own home is STRUGGLING! I hate to be harsh, but are we too busy to even care unless it concerns us directly? My husband and I taught a seminar a few days ago in Cleveland, Ohio concerning love and relationships. I am not in any way indicating that this young man who took his life was starving for love. However, I am saying that it is the very act of love that should push us to be concerned and have those “courageous conversations” with people that may result in uncovering deep seated issues that for them could be a matter of life or death.

Some aspects of social media are crucial to the dissemination of information and create possibilities of reaching people and places otherwise virtually impossible to reach. We can sit back and say, “I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist”, “I’m not a minister or a counselor”. Okay, but are you a caring person who is concerned about someone other than yourself? If the answer is yes, then let’s earnestly start with the very basics and build from there.

Earnestly PRAY for people and their situations. Get information for the sake of genuine prayer, not just to be “in the know”. Stick with that prayer concern until you see a positive, stable change. Master the art of LISTENING! Sometimes we can hardly wait for the person that is talking to us to pause, so we can chime in with our tale. Texts and emails are fine and convenient but hearing the other person’s voice on the other end of the phone can reveal much more. Make time for people — family, true friends, and valued co-worker relationships are gifts to be treasured. Holiday gatherings and summer cook-outs are not enough.

Be the one to call the family meeting, to discuss family matters, declare the need to support one another, and sort out disagreements and misunderstandings.When serious situations are revealed, strongly suggest professional counseling and spiritual counseling. These appointments and “check-ups” are as important and life-saving as that annual physical we’re all supposed to have!It’s not enough to be happy and secure in your place of worship but stress the importance of being connected and firmly planted in a solid, Bible based ministry that not only delivers the Word of God, but also offers programs and events that promote healthy, wholesome, life applicable teachings.

This level of tragedy may not have hit your doorstep, but it could be closer than you think. We all have a part in doing all that is within our power to see that another person does not give up on life.

Source: First Lady Denise