Safe Place with Ruth Graham

I didn’t wake up today thinking my life would change. But it has.

Suicide. The word is so cold and ugly. It is so stark and final. And yet it leaves so much behind. Unanswered questions. Unfinished business. Unspeakable grief.

The word means “the intentional taking of one’s own life”. Intentional destruction. I hate it.

Today a dear friend of mine died at his own hand. I am heart broken for his dear wife and family, our community.

Why? Why? Why?

There are no words…and even if there were, can the broken hear them? They are numb. They are in shock – thankfully.

It is easy to fall into platitudes…it makes us feel better. But words cannot begin to touch or heal the wound that has been inflicted upon his family, friends and community.

In reality the only voice that will make any difference is the soft gentle whisper of God Himself. And we want to reject Him. Rage at Him with our questions. Our anger has to go somewhere…why not at God who could have prevented it. He could have intervened. But He didn’t. Why?

In the turmoil, utter grief, we do turn to God, if only in rage. He can handle it. He isn’t threatened by it. Perhaps He welcomes it as He knows we need to express our emotions and get them out – He is safe. He is bigger than our anger, doubts, questions. He’s heard it all before. He knows and understands how we feel. In total despair, one of the twelve disciples committed suicide.

To live fully is to live in double reality: to know our pain and loss and to know His love. When a tsunami has hits and everything is upside down, nothing is secure, we can run to the Strong Tower, our Refuge. Our Shield and Defender. Our Shepherd. Our Rock. Our Help, Sustainer. He is our hope.

We do not grieve as those who have no hope. We do have hope. We just celebrated Easter. We have hope.  “Hope” is not like you are waiting on someone hoping they show up. Hope is clinging. Like a vine wraps around a tree.  When nothing makes sense we can wrap ourselves in the unchanging character of God.

My mother used to say of suicide, “God may not have called them home, but He welcomed them.” He keeps His covenant and His promises. In the midst of the storm, He gives peace – His peace. He is our peace.


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