Written by Paul Lucas
Much like the death of Augustine’s friend, I suffered the loss of a friend a short time back; although the thoughts resonate with me still. What pains me more is what they found with his body. In his wallet were various Scripture passages that he had apparently been carrying with him for a while. I imagine he spent a long time trying to find his peace with God. But, for reasons lost to time, his peace in this life was never found, and he voluntarily terminated it.
There is never much you can say when someone willingly takes their own life. It is difficult to comprehend the extent of the suffering that would drive someone to simply end it all. But alas, people are driven to such a point each and every day; although statistics never become so real until you or someone you love becomes a part of them.
While these times have been difficult for everyone involved, it is important to not lose sight the truth. The truth is two-fold: Firstly, developing a faith in God can help get you through hardships, and do not keep your struggles to yourself. In this life, we are not meant to be alone. As Christians, we have the Body of Christ as a big support group. Further, there are Christian counselors and therapists who are uniquely gifted and educated in helping people with very deep-set issues. The help is always available—the suffering ones only need to reach out when they feel comfortable. In times like these, the Body needs to unify and assist the families with the grieving process.
As for my friend himself, I know not his final destination. I do not know if he found whatever it was he was searching for. I do not know if he “died in the Lord” or not; and such thoughts may haunt me for some time following this writing. However, I knew him well enough to say that he at least tried to have a relationship with God. He knew the gospel, and he claimed to be a Christian, so we can hope for the best; along with all the grace and mercy that are in Christ Jesus. “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them’” (Rev. 14:13).