Reblogged from Sacred Cynicism by Pastor Doug Ward
I met someone for the first time 2 weeks ago. He came to church, and then was here again last week. He was a nice man, and he greeted me warmly. We had a nice conversation, and I was hoping to see him again this Sunday. I wanted to get to know him a little better. From the limited conversation we had, it seemed that life had been a little rough. That was just a perception. I found out this morning that this man took his own life this morning.
This news is crushing to me. I had no idea he was in any danger. I wish that something I said last week would have steered him away from this decision, but I do not know if that was even possible. I wish there had been more time. There is a sense of loss this morning. It is not a loss based upon a past relationship, I had only just met him. The loss is the removal of what could have been. Conversations that could have happened. The news once again reminded me of a simple truth – we have no idea which people are holding on to their very last bit of rope. I think this is a good thing for each of us to remember. It would be a great thing if our culture remembered it as well. We are probably too busy yelling at each other to listen to any wisdom right now.
This gentleman told me he had been watching us online. He told me he was hearing things that helped him. I wish I had the chance to follow up with him. I wish I knew more about his story than I do. Here are some things I do know. I know that I have no idea of the pain that this man was experiencing. I have no idea what things he was battling. I also know that Jesus died for everyone, including this gentleman, and I know that grace is far more pervasive that I realize. I do not know how grace, this gentleman, and the resurrection all interacted these past few weeks. I will simply say I hope.
In this current climate when we once again have retreated to our positions to lob verbal grenades at those people over there, a host of people just like this gentleman walk past us. They are probably unconcerned with all of the shouting – they just know that they hurt. This gentleman, and countless others – need someone to notice, if only we would stop shouting, and posting to social media. I just know that I am diminished today by this news. His name was Don.
From Barb: The man he is talking about has been my friend & neighbor for 18 years. I am still in shock but I have hope that when Don breathed his last breathe, Jesus was waiting for him with open arms.