Biblical reflections on suicide

2 10 2010

Some believe that there are sins which are unforgivable.

I do not believe this.

I believe the Psalmist who writes in chapter 139, “Where can I go from your spirit?  Or where can I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.  If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there…your right hand shall hold me fast.”

Some believe that one poor choice can erase a whole life of gentle goodness.

I do not believe this.

I believe the prophet Isaiah’s words of promise that G-d is making all things new – “I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy; and its people as a delight. (chapter 65)”

Some believe that certain choices we make, make us unredeemable, unlovable to G-d.

I do not believe this.

I believe the apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome (8:38-39) for “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, no angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Some believe that only some of us are worthy of burial in sacred ground.

I do not believe this.

I believe all ground is part of G-d’s good creation described in Genesis 1 and that we each are part of that created goodness, “God saw everything that [God] had made, and indeed, it was very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Some believe that G-d spitefully rejects us, if we give up on G-d.

I do not believe this.

I believe the assurances of Isaiah 43: “Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame will not consume you.  For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.  Do not fear, for I am with you.”

Some believe that the only way to end their own pain is to end their own life.

I do not believe this.

I believe in the Holy vision for us described in John’s Revelation in which, “God will be with them; and will wipe every tear from their eyes.  Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more. (Chapter 21)”

If you have lost someone to suicide, it is not your fault. You do not have to grieve alone, but please grieve.  Unresolved grief – anger, guilt, depression – makes us more susceptible to illnesses and trauma.  If you know someone who might be thinking about hurting themselves, you can help – ask them specifically if they are thinking about suicide and if they have a plan, stay with them and listen to them attentively, then call for help (911, the National Suicide Hotline: 800.273.8255 or your local crisis line).  Online help is @: http://suicidehotlines.com  If you are hurting so much you just want it to end – there is help!  It’s ok to ask for help.  Please ask for help by calling 911 or the crisis line, or anyone you trust.  You don’t have to be alone.  There is life beyond grief.

Blessings of deep peace.

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