“I’m going to kill myself today.”
I met a young man today. I was sitting on the steps outside the parsonage where I am currently at home, and I saw him walking down the street. He looked up at the cross on top of the bell tower and saw me. As he approached me he said “I’m going to kill myself today.”
He sat down next to me and I could see that stare off in to the distance. I called the 911 dispatch and they advised me someone was on the way. Robert was his name and he said he has given up trying anymore. His addictions wouldn’t stop and he was just kicked out of the local Sober House.
He told me he had a family, that was now lost to him, and a young daughter of 14 and a son of 8. While he wasn’t married per the state law, he had been with the same woman for many years – until the last few years due to his inability to stay clean. Maybe I said, not lost just not in touch for today. I’ve been there, and 2 years is a painful absence but I’m learning Jesus already knows that. Sometimes I want to ask isn’t there a way that doesn’t hurt so much? I don’t know why it is that way.
We talked a little about the future and how Jesus warned us not to worry about tomorrow as we only get 1 day at a time – which carries enough in it to worry about so tomorrow is another day. We talked about how our God is a God of second chances, third chances and indeed a God of many chances beyond our capacity to comprehend why He gives us so many chances, but I let him know God isn’t letting him go today. And that was all he need be thinking about – today right now and right here and being led to a place where he didn’t have to fight it all out on his own – and nothing more than that because surely I thought that was enough for the moment.
The paramedics came and took him to the hospital. But before he went into the ambulance he called me over and shook my hand and said thank you, Now I’m sitting here wondering why God led Robert down this street and why God choose that moment to have me go out to sit on the steps to soak up some sun and watch the cars go down the street.
Then again, maybe it’s not about me ever figuring out the whys – not that I really can. Maybe it’s not about being worried about saying the right things and doing the script for such situations that I was taught so many years ago – not that I remembered any of it until now. Maybe it is about somehow someway learning to be a person who when I get a call to follow I can respond like Simon and Andrew and just drop my nets and follow Him (Matthew 4:19-20). What I didn’t realize at the time was that dropping my nets meant a lot more than dropping what was holding me back but in fact dropping a huge chunk of myself. Not that such a thing makes sense. I mean how can we lose that chunk and still be who we are supposed to be when I think I hear something about losing that chunk will in fact allow us to become all we were meant/created to be.
Now my head is starting to hurt. But this is about Robert and not me. So join with me in a prayer for Robert and maybe someone else not too far down the road showing him a little of the light we know is out there.
Be blessed and be a blessing today.