During the last week I’ve had the privilege of walking alongside a family in one of the darkest times of their lives. On Tuesday, January 13th their 13 year old son took his own life. This Tuesday, we held a funeral for him here in our main Sanctuary. There were roughly 650 people in attendance; his soccer team was there in their uniforms as was his scout troop. Walking with this family and providing strength has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in ministry, but it has also been one of the most rewarding.
Below are a few of the words that I shared at the funeral on Tuesday. I have also found the American Association of Suicidology to have some helpful information.
God’s ability and work to bring new life is something I want to particularly emphasize this evening for any of you who have ever considered doing something like Jacob did. If you have ever thought about taking your own life, if you have ever felt that the darkness was just so dense and that there was no way you would ever emerge from within it, know that God seeks to bring new life. Know that God created you, that God loves you unconditionally, and that God is at work to bring about healing and wholeness for you. Suicide is never the best option. All of you who are present this evening know that now in ways that you maybe couldn’t have understood it a week ago. Suicide devastates those that are left behind. Suicide takes away the most precious gift that God has given to us, the gift of life. As I spoke with the family this week they reflected on Jacob’s life and said, “If he had known how much this was going to hurt us and all of his friends he never would have done it.”
Again, suicide is never a good option, there is always hope, God is always working to bring about healing. If you have ever or if you ever find yourself thinking about taking your own life, talk to someone in your family, call someone here at this church or at your church, reach out to someone at work, know that there are people who care deeply about you and will do whatever they can to help you experience God’s love and move from a place of darkness to the promise of the third day.