Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Suicide Memories that Never Die

I received Group’s latest issue this week– “Help for Kids in Pain.” A few years back, I was interviewed and asked to give my reflections on something that happened in the fall, 6 years (then 4 years) ago. I was surprised to see the article show up in this issue.

The memory is still cuts deep, but also seems foggy. I think it seems foggy now, because it was foggy then. I came to work on a Monday to eventually hear that my colleague; the pastor of the Jr. High ministry had committed suicide. This started a dizzy ride for me, at that time the Sr. high pastor, as I had to shepherd hurting students, parents, and youth leaders. Somehow I had to figure out how to care for people and to deal with my own grieving process.

Sometimes I think I’m still processing it. My good friend, Dave (who then was the college pastor at the same church) and I were STILL processing the event just this last year. I remember having dinner with him in Seattle and us just recounting those unbelievable days and the ripple effect it had on our's and other’s lives.

To those who have been through things like this, and especially to my dear friends who walked and cried and prayed and swore with me through our shared experience, this 6th Anniversary I say…

- Thank you to my wife for shouldering the weight with me. I wouldn’t have made it without you, Jen.
- Thank you to my kids for understanding daddy being gone many nights and praying that Jesus might help the hurting people we love.
- Thank you to the students, many now adults, who were really brave during those uncertain times. My love for you runs deep and I still wish I could take away the pain and scars.
- Thank you to the “Brook Guys” for showing up that one day when I felt like giving up. I still remember.
- Thank you to the Jr. and Sr. High volunteers who stuck together and rode the roller coaster. You are the true heroes.
- Thank you to the people who didn’t forget, or get too busy, or just ignored the reality. You helped me grieve properly.

Some memories never die. Some memories shape us.

Lord Jesus, may all people everywhere know that life is worth living. Give those who doubt this, people to love them. Give those who grieve loss, comfort that is truly healing. Help me to love people believing that even in my smallest acts of kindness, tragic acts might be deterred. Amen.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Being 13

Youth Leaders and Parents of teenagers... check out Time Magazine’s cover story this week… “Being 13.” You can also link to some of the material through…
  • Time Magazine Online
  • Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Leave Left...

    I got this “promo” in an email today.

    Can someone please explain to me how this helps the Christian cause? Is this what we want our friends to hear as the essence of the Gospel… “Believe in Jesus so you won’t go to hell or be left behind with all the bad people?”

    Is this salvation?
    Is this love for God?
    Is this helping us live well in the world which God calls "good?"

    Can someone explain to me why I should be excited about this? I'm all ears.