Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches


The Death We Never Talk About (2) 


The Funeral Chapel was crowded with family and friends. The only sound was the taped organ music being played quietly in the background. The music ended. I stood and came to the lecturn to lead one of my toughest funeral services ever.   We had gathered to remember and farewell a young man - husband to a young wife. That was tough enough. What really complicated our grief was the way the young man had died. He had committed suicide.  


As I moved among the mourners after the service, the recurring question was, "Why?" . Everyone thought they were doing well as a couple. Why would he take his own life? What could possibly have happened to bring him to that point where he irreversibly crossed the line from life into death?  


These are questions that are being asked with increasing regularity today. Youth suicide in particular (both attempted and actual) has increased dramatically in recent years. It is no wonder, then, that we are now searching for answers like never before.  


A recent newspaper article suggested one possibility:   "A huge reason is that spirituality in this country has taken a back seat so that, if we are teaching our children to believe in themselves, when something goes wrong they have nowhere else to turn".   When are we going to realise that there is a spiritual dimension to life that just cannot be ignored if we are to find lasting security and significance? We search for those two realities in all the wrong places. We have fallen for the lie that meaning and value are somehow to be found in human accomplishment and material possessions.  


A rich and influential man once came to Jesus Christ and asked a question that revealed the emptiness of his life. "What must I do to have eternal life?" As our world measures success, he had it all. But I suspect that deep within he knew he had nothing in the way of lasting security and significance.   The tragedy called suicide is a complex one. But we must address this area of spirituality - that God-shaped space in all our lives - if we are ever going to find the antidote to this tragic self-destruction.      

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