One of my early morning tennis buddies shared quietly with me today that his daughter “took her own life” over the holiday. How sad and tragic. I don’t know too much of the background other than she was in her 30s, and he’s still in shock, processing the reality of it. His name is Paul, a really nice guy. I will try to spend some time with him in the coming days, if he desires it, but we really only know each other from tennis. It’s a reminder of how important even casual relationships are – small groups, fellowships of various types, brief conversations with neighbors. Even amongst the unchurched, and perhaps especially so, we’re called to be salt and light, and examples to others of Christ’s love. I can only imagine the anguish Paul must feel, and how important faith and friendships can be in times like these. Please keep Paul and his family in your prayers. My wife, Sandy, as a mental health counselor, knows that suicide rates go up around the holidays – feelings of despair and loneliness are even greater than usual. We can be vigilant and look for opportunities to show compassion and share the reason for the hope that we have in Christ. From a practical standpoint, just simply making ourselves available, showing sincere concern and listening can make a world of difference to someone who is hurting.
(1 Peter 3:15; Matthew 5:13-16)
All of life is a struggle between fear and love. (1 John 4:18)