Out interim pastor at our church, told us that he lost a dear friend this past week to suicide. He said he had known this gentleman for years and they had been on mission trips to other countries together several times.
He talked about how you would have never known his friend had any feelings that would have lead to suicide. He told us how he had cried a lot this week knowing he was gone. Then he mentioned how just that morning, on his way to our church, he had cried just thinking about it all.
His tears this morning, were for all the people who looked up to this gentleman as a man of God, and how his committing this sin must have hurt them, and how he prayed this act would not be a stumbling block for them.
I believe in God. I believe Jesus, God's son, gave His life willingly for my salvation. I have been in church most of my life because of my belief, to praise God along side other believers, and to hear the Word of God taught.
Church people, like everyone else, can be good, bad, cruel and wonderful. There are hypocrites in the church just as there are hypocrites in the work place and in the shopping centers. We’re all human. If churches were only for perfect people there would be no need for churches.
When it comes to mental illness, the church is just as bad as everybody else. The stigma is just as deeply ingrained, the misconceptions, just as stupid.
Our pastors’ friend did not “sin”. He was mentally ill. The sickness in his mind was lying to him. The pain in his mind, seemed to have become bigger than his resources for coping with his pain, so he ended that pain.
I am thankful this morning that his friend is with Jesus now. His pain is gone forever and he basks in the agape’ love of the Heavenly Father forever.