Indecision plagued the young 10th grader. No one seemed to know. Then, the decision was made. A gun shot rang out. A 16-year-old ended his own life a few days ago. Tragedy struck. Close to home. My grandson knew that young man who planned to leave this world for reasons that are still unclear. Tears around the whole school. A single mom must search deeply for answers……. A dad who wasn’t present due to a divorce, would ultimately know. How can he resolve this painful event?
I questioned a few of his fellow students to see if he was a Christian, and the answer was met with lowered eyes and a facial expression that revealed the ack of an answer. I mourned myself, and I didn’t even know him. Who was he? Why did he think the only outlet left was to end it all? How did a person who was amongst hundreds of people his own age feel the need to commit this terrible act?
Questions that raced through my mind was: Could prayer have changed this outcome? Could many prayers from many people have changed this outcome? Could my prayer have changed this outcome?
I think back to times when I responded to God’s calling right away, and what a blessing it was to see His action through me. Then I remember when I failed to act in a timely manner, or failed to follow through with His leading at all.
Am I too busy to notice signs of a troubled life, no matter what the age? Am I so focused on the demands on my time that I miss opportunities to reach out to others who would love to receive an encouraging word? Why am I so concerned with the priorities that have wedged into my daily activities, that I miss the priorities that the Lord has waiting for me?
To reach out and try to wrap my hands around this desperate situation, I find myself recognizing the new priority I must have of touching lives with sprinkles of encouragement, displays of concern, and an urgency to look into people’s eyes to bring the light of Christ to them. Maybe just one comment will allow some person to dwell on those kind words, or my prayer to ring again and again in their hearts. And maybe that one time, the Lord will honor that outreach by bringing them close to where they will inquire why I would take an interest in them. And maybe that time, I will spare some family the heartbreak of a dear relative going out into eternity the way of that 16-year-old.
The Scriptures say: We are fearfully and wonderfully made. I say: We are made by the Highest Authority out of the finest materials for a specific purpose in the life. Pray we will all be cognizant of hurt and pain around us.
“Lord, thank You for the power of prayer. Please prepare me for use in these tough, tough cases and allow me to be a willing vessel in carrying Your message to those who are secretly planning some dreadful decisions. And thank You for sending individuals into our lives for the purpose of lifting them up, and showing them that Jesus Christ not only has the answer, He is the answer. In His Name. Amen.”