Suicide: A Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem
“For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death,” according to the CDC. I remember when I received the call that a student had committed suicide. He was funny, loved by many and yet felt that suicide was the best option to end his problems. Earlier this week the Oscar winning comedian Robin Williams committed suicide at age 63. It is crazy how someone who has made so many people laugh could feel so hurt. I know how it feels too, I tried committing suicide when I was 12. My family was falling apart, I had zero friends, had been a ‘Christian’ for years and was headed no where in life. I felt completely alone. Nothing I did seemed to fix it. I didn’t want to hurt any more so I wrote a letter and got a rope. My life was worthless, so why not just end it and spare the pain and suffering?
My problems were temporary though. I couldn’t see it then, but I can see it now. What got me through? It wasn’t that I got saved… It wasn’t that I went into treatment… It was that someone actually made an effort to care about me. A youth pastor named Tony and a bunch of youth group kids intentionally became my friends. To them I wasn’t a charity case, but an actual friend. Their caring love drove me to a renewed relationship with Jesus Christ. I suddenly felt like I belonged somewhere and had a purpose. Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenheartedand saves the crushed in spirit” (ESV). Depressed, suicidal and hurting people all need a radical encounter with Jesus. More often than not they will only get to that relationship with Jesus through a relationship with a friend.
People everywhere are hurting, from the small town skater kid to the famous movie/TV stars. Even the ones who make us laugh and seem to have such a zest for life. Action sports culture is especially prone to suicide because of the independent nature of the sport. So be a friend and love on people the way Jesus did. Build relationships, create a sense of belonging and introduce people to Jesus. That saved my life…