I’m sure that you have been in a rather chipper mood, just scrolling down on Tumblr or perhaps Facebook, having a laugh at some silly pictures or comments. Everyone once in a while you probably come across a wayward picture or comment about suicide.
It is an interesting moment for me. I’m quite relaxed on the computer, usually in my pajamas late at night, my only other plans being to go to sleep later. When I read these life-despairing comments…I become aware of how quiet the room is. I have a moment of awareness and can feel my heart in my chest, beating as it has been since the day I entered the world. My soul starts to sway. “Say something, say something,” my soul cries. Don’t be a silent bystander, hiding behind the face of a computer screen.
When you’re on your computer you may be cruising along in a virtual place, but what if you saw someone in real life who was going to jump in front of a car or throw herself onto the tracks…would you say something? Would you do something?
It was in the news recently that a woman fell off a train station platform in Japan and a crowd of people came together and pushed a 32 ton train carriage off of her so she could escape (NYDailyNews).
Humans are willing to save each other it seems. So what about these silent, fatal screams on social media? Are we going to answer cries for help with silence…because that might be the last thing someone ever hears.
What kind of creature is able to consider its demise with such a willingness that is prepared to do it with its own hands?
Humans are glorified for intelligence, physical ability, creativity and imagination. Music and art and science and architecture. Look at us! We’re brilliant. That’s one way to put it. We’re also capable of depression and anxiety that is so severe and inhibiting we are prepared to close our eyes for good. Just swallow a few too many of these sleeping pills or maybe dig that knife down a little too deep or perhaps a gun would be a faster way into the afterlife.
I have seen many comments regarding severe depression and suicide. I’ve seen a fair amount relating to anxiety as well. All on Tumblr. I grit my teeth in anguish at the idea of a lowly teenager just saying things for attention.
There truly is no way to know if someone is telling the truth when she says she wants to end her life. After all, the Internet gives birth to liars. We get to be anyone we want on here. We can put on a mask and continue to lie through our computer screens, but these masks we put on, after a while, they begin to fit so perfectly. And then we forget who we are.
So are these cries of death and pain real? There’s an infinite amount of information on Tumblr alone, and scattered throughout are these tiny pleas for relief. Well, I’m so so sorry it turned out this way. Crying to strangers online in hopes that they will help you? At least you tried. Some people don’t ask for help, they’re just gone the next day.
Why am I talking about this? I’m talking about this because I have been there too. Oh my loves, yes I wished for death several different times. I’m not sure I could find a person who hasn’t also craved the same thing. Life has often seemed more like a punishment than anything else.
I’m not going to waste any more words or any of your time because to those who are in the desert, to those who are prepared to die, I have a message for you fresh from the other side. You may hate it, but if you reject it, you’re still exactly where you left off.
If antidepressants or therapy or religion or drugs or alcohol or sex could help you, then why haven’t they? Why do you have such heaviness in your chest that you sleep for excessive hours to try and relieve yourself of the weight? The answer for help is not from this world, like I told you. The world is where you found your anxiety, your depression, your anger, your guilt.
If the world could help you, then why hasn’t it been able to? Why are you even reading these words if the world were able to help you? This post wouldn’t exist if the world had healed you and sent you off. No. Instead, the world’s help is like bacteria in a wound. It’s just making it worse.
What is this pain? It makes you question whether you are awake or dreaming. It’s bewildering. You can spin around in confusion, hope just a thought away, but you can never grasp it. Love drains from your body and escapes you. Worry has become your friend. You have no other friends like Worry. She’ll stay with you all night and all day. She’ll watch you with your family and stalk you through the hallways of school. Even at work she is hiding in the corner of your vision.
While you sleep, she waits for you to wake. She is not tired. Not even a little. She is your friend. Your only friend.
Worry is my friend. Oh, I adore her. She strings me along and when I’m shaking and defeated, she only watches me with a twitching smile. On and on we go. Again. Let’s break you again, she says, I love to see your foundations crumble.
Let me explain something to you.
You can search out any form of distraction or empty pleasure to get you through each day, but the reality is that you are going to die whether you do it to yourself or it happens randomly. The wicked things that people have done will be judged. Every person has fallen short of greatness (Psalm 14:3). Each person has done terrible things that they don’t want to admit to. The sins we’ve committed are secrets.
If we were strong, truly strong, then why do we commit sin? Why do we do things that aren’t good for us? Why do we have thoughts in our heads that tear us a part? Because we’re weak. So we need help from someone who is strong.
The one who gives me strength is Jesus Christ. My relationship with him is not a figment or a religion. I go to him and confess the evil I have done: bitterness, selfishness, cursing, anger, idolatry and lust. Whatever the wrong thing is, I tell him. It doesn’t matter that I can’t see him, because I know that the evil I have done is not going by unnoticed.
Christ removes our guilt and forgives us. He helps us in real, tangible, unexplainable ways. There is no greater sacrifice then his death on the cross. He did that for every person that they might rely on him for forgiveness and help.
I’m not interested in religion. Religion warrants mindless repetition and rituals that mean nothing. Jesus though, I get to talk to him like a friend. I can read my Bible and have him speak back to me through words that never expire. Living words. His words can survive eternity. When he said, and when it was written, that he loved us is that able to reach an end? Could that only have applied to certain people?
No. It is for everyone. It is for you.
So here’s what I’m going to instruct you to do. Being suicidal and despairing of life actually can help because you’ve been humbled. If you pray just one time, my friend, just once your life will forever be different. Push out of your mind and heart all of your distractions and prudence. Surrender to God and ask for his help.
God is bound by his Word to answer: “‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.’” Luke 11:9-10
That verse above is only true when you ask for God’s will to be done. That means you are asking God, who is all goodness and love, to help you because you are weak. You are confessing to him that you need him. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3
If you think you don’t need help or if you think you’re strong on your own, then cheers. It won’t take long, my friend, before your legs give out from under you and you lie awake at night wondering how you will make it tomorrow. If you don’t have God’s son, tomorrow is a terrifying thought because tomorrow could be the day you die and the day you fall under judgment for your selfish life on Earth.
To those who are weak, broken, rejected, sick, poor and thought to be without value: the kingdom of God is yours because you confess your need for a Savior. You ask for help and you receive it.
“Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” Mark 2:17
Be well, friends. My God is the only one who will answer you. The only one who is real. The only one who loves you so much THAT HE LISTENS TO YOU. He will never abandon you. There are so many verses that the Lord says he will not leave us.
So go on and ask for His help or just keep on with your life.
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.”
2 Corinthians 1:8-10