Last night, a young man from the town where I live took his own life. My heart aches for his family and friends.
Doesn’t it feel, when something like this happens, that the whole world should stop? As though everything should focus on the tragedy at hand?
When I read through my Facebook feed, I mostly saw people posting the same things they always do. Funny photos, interesting links, and what they had for dinner. There was a huge disconnect between the shock and sadness I’m feeling and the mundanity of life around me that others are still experiencing.
I wanted everything to just wait. To take a deep breath, to reflect, to listen. But that’s like asking traffic on the interstate highway to stop because I want to cross the road.
Tonight, I want to offer hope. If you are feeling like that young man was; if you are wrestling with your ability to make it day-to-day; if you are wondering if the only way to escape the pain is to make it stop forever: please hang on. Not because “everything will be fine”—I can’t promise you that—but because you are loved. I love you. God loves you. You are not alone. Please reach out, because you will find a hand to cling to.
Students from my church, we your youth leaders will be at church tomorrow night from 6:30-8:30. If you need someone to talk to, please come. Bring your friends. All who are involved in our church, please spread the word so that the students in our community know they have somewhere safe they can go.