March 28, 2016

Bringing the Outside In

One hundred and seventeen . . . 117!

That’s the number of people who committed suicide in Snohomish County in 2014. Each of those people felt like they were on the outside. They believed that life was a party that all their colleagues, relatives and neighbors were invited to, but their invitation got lost in the mail.

They believed they didn’t belong.

We are all afraid of rejection, but people who live on the outside don’t just feel rejected, they feel like they don’t matter.

That’s why it’s so important to show them that every life is sacred. God sees the person fighting depression as just as valuable as the CEO running a Fortune 500 company.

You know that and I know that each life is precious, but in 2014, there were 117 people who didn’t believe it. It makes me wonder . . . did anyone tell them? Did anyone stop to hand them a warm cup of coffee and listen to their fears? Did someone share a good, filling meal and conversation with them the days before they died? Did anyone see the pain in their soul and offer to pray with them?

I hope the answer is yes, but I don’t know. All I know is there are 117 people who should still be alive.

Depression isn’t easy to understand, treat or overcome. I’m not going to pretend it is, and I’m not going to pretend we have all the answers here at the Mission, or are even equipped to deal with people battling the severest forms of clinical depression. But I believe that if each of us showed love and concern to those around us, we could lift the burden and darkness from those who are struggling. And who knows, in welcoming someone from the outside into your life, you might even save theirs.

If your life has been touched by depression and suicide, I’m sorry. I wish I could turn back time so that your grief could be erased. I can’t, but I can love the people who are still with us, and so can you!

The data isn’t in for 2015 yet, but I’m praying that the number of suicides went down. Pray with me that in 2016 it will be even less!