From Geoffrey to you; Suicidal Thoughts

Saturday July 4, 2009

Suicidal Thoughts

When life throws you in a pit, a deep and lonesome hole of despair, you try with everything you have to climb your way out and to gather your footing once again, but once you fall, fall, and fall continually over and over again, once you have poured every ounce of strength in your body into getting yourself out and yet you find that you are no where near bettering your situation you stop and you quit. When hope is lost so is everything else. No longer am I able to muster up the strength or willingness to wake up for another day of torment. No longer am I able to put a smile on my face and pretend as if everything is okay as I bump into familiar faces. After struggling longer than you can remember, after having a build up of unbearable pain and anguish, after you have lost all self worth the idea of suicide is so tantalizingly brilliant it seems like an answer to prayer. No longer will the pain of everyday life hold you captive. No longer will you turn your head in disgust as you see yourself in the mirror. No longer will you have to pretend like everything is peachy. The worries, fears, anger, remorse, despair, destitution, and pain that has haunted your every being for more days than you wish to recall will all peacefully subside.

Yesterday a small boy and a little girl followed me and hung out with me for about an hour and a half. They didn’t say much and got really shy whenever I asked them questions. They didn’t need to say anything they were two precious children of God. There is a woman that I have been hearing about for the past two days and I have been eager to meet her. Word around the street was that there was a young struggling single mother who is threatening suicide because her family is starving and suffering. I just now returned from her home and the situation was tough and those two children who followed me around yesterday were hers. This widow has three beautiful children, I would guess all they are all under five years old. Her home has no bed, no mattress, no blankets, no chairs or furniture, the only thing that fills this small single room are a few borrowed items like two plates and a pot for cooking. She has no food. She has no family around this area to help. Her children were dressed in the same clothes they had on yesterday. This woman had absolutely nothing and I can see why she lost all hope and wanted to give up.

When I think about the organized religion that I practice I realize that it is all commentary. The debate of predestination against free will, the question of the once saved always saved, how to pray, how often to take communion, if you can baptize children, who to pray to, if we have three worship songs at the opening of our service or four, what type of flowers to use in this weeks floral arrangement, the building fund, what type of wafers to use for communion, and the color of this weeks bulletin… none of that really matters. When it comes down to my faith only two things matter, to love God and to love His children. Does it really matter how people pray? If they stand, sit, or kneel. Does I really need to make such a big deal over the color of the bulletins? Do I need to sit and debate my views and try to force others to see that my way is more “holy” than theirs? No.
I read my bible often, it is all highlighted, worn and covered in notes but it’s all commentary, I hope this offends no one. The bible was written a long time ago. It was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, not English. I think of the fact that at some point a group of very intellectual and spiritual people had to sit down and translate these writings into English. In order to do this though, they had to read it in its original language and use their intellect, experience, understanding and interpretation to translate it. The words I read in my bible aren’t the exact words that it was originally written in, it’s close to it but it is difficult to get a word for word translation. What do you do when you come across a word in Greek that we don’t have in English? What about a word like “love,” we only have the one word but in Greek there are various words with different meanings for our one word. So a bunch of smart guys grouped around and came up with the best translation they could, meaning that what we read isn’t identical to what was written hundreds of years ago. In order to get the actual “bible” we need to study these three languages and read it in its original text, but what about the cultural aspect? Different things are culturally accepted and culturally denounced back then, in order to come close to understanding the bible perfectly we would need to not just study the culture but live in that time. What about the fact that by the preteen age a Jewish boy would have the entire Old Testament memorized, things that are apparent to them aren’t to us. If they read the New Testament they would look at stories, parables and letters in a completely different way than we do. Millions of men and women have dedicated years of their lives to studying the word of God and yet we come up with so many different methods, understandings, interpretations and beliefs from the one book. Understanding the bible is like a pool that is so deep you can never reach the bottom and yet so shallow anyone can wade in its waters and not drown. Just so you guys know I do believe that what I read is the direct word of God, I think it is holy and I am thankful for having it, but I realize that everyone has their own interpretation and understanding of it.

I love my bible, you can call you a bible thumper. I enjoy reading the stories, parables and accounts that are found within its bindings so much, but I have come to the realization that it is all commentary. You can take any scripture and dozens of people can get completely different interpretations from it. We view the bible and based off our lives, experiences and knowledge we develop our interpretation of it, but everyone has slightly different understandings, so many different aspects of it can be debated. I think that we get so caught up in the methods that we completely forget about the principal of the Christian faith.

I don’t think that whether or not a church speaks in tongues, whether you are allowed to baptize a child or just adults, if woman are allowed to preach, if you were predestined, if you pray standing or sitting, if you go through confirmation or just attend a youth group matters as much as simply loving God and loving His children. I am reading a book called “Tortured for Christ” and it gives the accounts of a pastor who was imprisoned and tortured for 14 years of his life because of his faith. After a few years this man lost his ability to write, forgot the scriptures, and could hardly even pray. The only prayer he was able to repeat was “Jesus, I love you” and he and his fellow cell mates continued to love those who tortured them even as they were murdered. They didn’t use scripture and didn’t argue about the methods of their faith and how to pray, they couldn’t even remember how to really pray, but they continued to love God and love his children, that is what our faith and the bible is all about. I can read the bible and take things in a completely different way than you, the bible can be used as a weapon for condemning and judging, it can be used as a tool to encourage and bring hope, it can be used as simply a piece of literature or as an artifact, I can read the bible and come up with many different methods and different beliefs (if you don’t believe me try to count how many different denominations we have) but in my opinion all of that is the small stuff. The problem is that we focus so much on these small issues, these small differences (I can’t say I think God is going to care very much about what kind of wafers we use for communion or if we pray standing, sitting or kneeling) that we miss the bigger picture; love. It all comes down simply to that, love God and love his children. Not how you do it or who does it better, but to simply love. No matter what method you decide is right for you, no matter what denomination you agree with, no matter if you speak in tongues or not… not matter how you read the bible it is apparent that it all comes down to loving God and loving his children.

I don’t think that this means to say “I love you.” If my parents say they love me but beat me, starve me, curse me, deprive me of joy and abuse me I am going to find it a little difficult to believe they love me. However, if they feed me, clothe me, comfort me when I worry, and accept me for who I am whether they say it or not I will know that they love me. Love is action not words.

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” I think after tonight I have a better understanding why this is in the bible. This widow I met was broken, tired and worn out. Her three children were all yelling and running around the entire time we were there, she didn’t seem to have any energy to chase after them or tell them to stop, I imagine raising children on your own must be difficult. Trying to work a job while watching your children must be burdensome as well. What about the pain of losing her husband? This woman has to try to be the strong one in the family and pull everything together, but what if she has a deep wound that hasn’t healed from his death? How difficult must that be? What about providing for your children? I can tell you that right now there odds of getting a job here are slim to none, how would it feel to tell your children we don’t have any food today? I can understand how this woman could feel hopeless and want to commit suicide, I see the despair in her life. I can see why God says that pure religion is caring for the orphans and widows, because they are lacking one of the most essential things in life: love.

Pure religion isn’t arguing over speaking in tongues, how you pray, when to be baptized, other religions, thumping people over the head with the bible, talking poorly about other denominations… pure religion is simply bringing love to those without any. Not with words, but with actions. Tonight the only thing I said was a prayer at the end of our meeting with this woman, we brought her food and are going to help her go back to her hometown… I wouldn’t dare saying anything because chances are that my words would have gotten in the way. I didn’t need to say anything, showing up and showing her love with action says enough.

Prayer Requests:
This woman, her children and their trip back to their home town. Pray for a job opportunity.
Stacy’s wheelchair… it was supposed to be here over six weeks ago… William and I are headed into the town on Monday to see what the hold up is.
Mama Carro had another baby, it is a girl. Just pray for her provision and work
We have a three day evangelism event the end of July and beginning of August
I am starting to get sick… I hope it isn’t the swine flu : )

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 12:04 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>