Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Brokenness: suicide

My friend works in the women's ministry of a very big church.
Last week,
a woman who attended the ministry took her own life.

The woman was depressed,
tormented even,
and wasn't supposed to be left alone or around any kinds of pills.

But hours of solitude however brief
can somehow slip into a day.
And rather than pills slipping down a throat,
the slip of a noose will work just as easily.

And this young mother's brokenness slipped away...
leaving a family to pick up the pieces for a lifetime.

There is the tension between hurt and healing, healing and loss.
There are the faces stuck in that tension,
A kind of purgatory.

One face so caught was the counselor at church who offered his presence to her.
He heard of her death,
and like the women who went to clean Jesus' body,
he went to her home
and cleaned the fluids that had leaked out of her broken life.
An act of love
of sacrifice
creating a space of healing
for those who mourn,
for those left with the tension.

And so,
maybe part of the mercy in brokenness,
is an act of service and sacrifice,
that eases the tension
softens the hurt,
becomes a hand to hold,
and offers a way to say good bye.

I offer no easy answers here for the loss of life,
for understanding taking one's life,
or even mental illness.
I leave us with that tension.

But I do offer the image of one man,
serving what was left of a broken life
and I think:
I want to be like him.

Painting titled Entombment of Christ by Garafalo, 1520

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