9/19/2004

EFFORTLESS GRACE EXCERPT 4

The following is another part of a book I am writing, called Effortless Grace. feel free to criticize. God knows I need it!! : )


WHAT CAN WE DO?

One of the best ways to help someone who is considering suicide is to talk about it with them. One popular myth tells us that talking about suicide may give the depressed or traumatized person an idea that may not have occurred to them. This is false. Often, talking about it brings something to light that the person may never have thought of, such as a hope they believed was no longer theirs. Remember, feelings of hopelessness almost always accompany suicide attempts. Feelings of loneliness, of rejection, or of despair are all things people who attempt suicide face.

We can address each one of these areas as the body of Christ. Loneliness is not so much the act of being alone, as much as it is the feeling that one is not accepted anywhere. We have all felt rejected at times, or unaccepted. Have you ever felt unaccepted everywhere you turned? That is the experience of the person who is considering suicide. Maybe they ARE accepted, and just don’t know it. Maybe their feelings are twisted by their rapid loss of hope. Whatever the case may be for the condition, there is only one cure, as mentioned before, grace.

We can administer grace to everyone we meet by being available for them, whoever it may be. We can dispense grace by listening more than we talk. One of the best indicators of a person who is considering suicide are feelings of hopelessness. We won’t hear them say it unless we are listening.

When I was going through the loss of my wife through adultery and divorce, one of things I did to get through it was to call people, and talk with them. Maybe the call was an inconvenience, but I would never know, because I was never told it was. I would spend sometimes hours on the phone talking with brothers and sisters in Christ, who never told me they “had to go quick”, or were “just about to leave”. They gave me their time, and more importantly, their ear. This allowed me to speak what was in my heart, it allowed me to bleed over the phone. And, if my bleeding overflowed, they would offer to come over and mop it up, again, with their ear. Those believers were the hug from God I needed, at a time when I easily could have ended it, so blinded I was by my pain.

How else does listening to someone in pain help them? Just as getting them to talk about it helps them work through it, DISCUSSING their trouble with them lends to them a sound mind that is not blinded by pain. Some of the greatest tragedies have occurred because a sound mind was not at the helm the day the tragedy took place. We do not make wise decisions when we are in pain. Most of the murders in this world are committed by people who didn’t plan it, they just reacted to the situation they were faced with. They made a hasty, uninformed, and unwise decision, because all their mind could see was pain.

We can offer them a heart that, although it is hurting because of compassion, is not completely clouded by pain. We can offer them our wisdom, and in the case of a person contemplating suicide, wisdom is one thing they are desperately lacking.

More on this part of the book soon.

6 comments:

Mwega said...

I think you have hit the nail head on. So many times people feel they can't talk to anybody, because they don't want to burden anyone with the problems they have. This could be because of pride, shame or purely they think that they will be a burden and don't want to cause anyone to feel they have to listen.

What you have written is exactly what is needed, someone who is there who is not afraid to give their time and able to listen and talk common sense into their situation. We need to show people who are hurting that we are willing to listen, and we are not to busy to sit and chat. We are not afraid to talk about bad situations, that they do happen!

I have in the past seen my church hurt people, by not understanding them and not willing to listen, which in turn made the other person feel rejected. I thinka common thing in Church is that people don't take time to understand people. If people don't try to understand, they lose people, if they are fixed in their own belief of what someone should be like, the Church won't prosper.

All the best in your writing. I just wanted to encourage you and say that I believe in what you say.

Tom Reindl said...

Actually, I'm getting to the reason why many people don't give the time to the lonely or depressed. Much of it has to do with the fact that they don't HAVE the time to begin with. Radical love sometimes requires radical change. If there's one thing I know, it's that people jealously guard two things, their money, and their time. I am struggling with how to approach that, all the while knowing that some are going to bash the idea that we waste a lot of time doing a lot of nothing. Got any ideas on how to approach it?

Mwega said...

Its true, its hard to battle that. So many people try and get hurt in the process because people don't listen.

I know that my Church is setting up like a prayer group people, where you have dedicated people who have offered themselves to be available every sunday for people to talk to. I knwo that this is just a sunday thing, but amongst those people you could find ones that will also make available through the week.

I am sure that in every Church you will find people who have a great burden to reach to these people. I think the problem is that there is nothing or no one to organise something they can get involved with to make themselves available, as they themselves don't know how to approach things.

I myself am guilty of not having time, but I now stop myself when a friend gives me a call and asks to come around, I will be there. There's nothing worse.

So maybe something to try is to get together people you know, who would be willing to do this kind of thing, have a network, and let the whole Church know. If it works out, that network can meet up regularly to support each other.

Tom Reindl said...

Isn't that sad, when we can organize to build a new building, or to plant a church garden, but no one knows how to organize the simplest thing, loving thy neighbor? You see, that's what the early church was all about. They didn't organize book writing campaigns, or popular opinion polls. They loved each other.

Tom Reindl said...

Isn't that sad, when we can organize to build a new building, or to plant a church garden, but no one knows how to organize the simplest thing, loving thy neighbor? You see, that's what the early church was all about. They didn't organize book writing campaigns, or popular opinion polls. They loved each other.

Tom Reindl said...

Isn't that sad, when we can organize to build a new building, or to plant a church garden, but no one knows how to organize the simplest thing, loving thy neighbor? You see, that's what the early church was all about. They didn't organize book writing campaigns, or popular opinion polls. They loved each other.

Loving my neighbor should be the most natural thing for me to do. It should be that way for anyone who is in Christ. That's why grace is so important to us, because when we focus on grace, we see the truth, we see the deceptions around us, and we are able to discern. Are that many people living a graceless life? That is what drives me. Thank you very much for your encouragement.