Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The End Of The Rope

Normally I keep this blog somewhat hopefully inspirational. In my reading of the Word, even King David and Job despaired of their own lives. Isn't it odd that we admire these men of the Word but get a bit discouraged at those around us who become weary of life? Kind of wrong, I think. Today's post is probably the most serious one I've ever written.

Many years ago I knew a very special lady. For her privacy I'll call her Helen. We were on the phone. It was obvious she was in dire straits. Complications with her family didn't help matters either. I had known her for a very long time. She was basically a loner of sorts, hated crowds and had a very artistic flair. This day, all of her hopes and aspirations were gone. Her broken voice filtered through the lines to my receiver. There was no doubt she had been crying for some time. I had seen her sad, happy, serious and funny in a whimsical way. Today, though, was one side I had never experienced. She was on the verge of taking her life. In a staccato speech mixed with tears she told me she had a knife to her throat. She had come to the end of her rope.

I tried to find the reason for the distress. It seemed to me she had everything to live for. She was healthy, well-educated, attractive, financially secure and much more. I thought, "How could she not love life?" She told me that all hope was gone. She resorted to drinking as a balm to her troubled life. She asked me the most poignant question, "Why shouldn't I just cut my throat now?" Now, sometimes, in a serious situation I try to diffuse things with my humor. This however, wasn't the right time. In my mind I thought, "Well, it could hurt." I wasn't about to use this line. All I can remember is that I told her to do me a favor and at least drop the knife and talk to me. She did.

So, for the next few minutes I tried to pry out of her the hurt, anger, or whatever emotion that was bringing her to this point. She finally admitted that her father thought she was a failure. Or at least that is what he thought of her that day. I tried to reassure her that we all have said things in haste. I tried to remind her of all of the great qualities she had, the caring soul within her and all the wonderful gifts and talents she had. I wanted Helen to know that it wasn't worth one bad comment to destroy her life. However, I do know how hurtful words can be.

Another thing though is that she's not a believer. I don't know how many times I had told her of the love of Jesus. To this day though, she thinks it is a myth. The good news is: she is better. The drinking is gone and she seems somewhat better with her life. My sadness comes in the fact she doesn't know Christ. And what's even more tragic is there are believers that despair of life and want to end it all. I disagree with those who say suicide is a selfish act. I think it takes a brave person to end it! Just my thought. However, I don't recommend it. Some psychologists say that those who commit suicide even in that moment are looking for happiness. I agree with that comment.

In closing, I'm glad I was there that day to help her through that ordeal. Helen is a very selfless person. My greater hope is that someday she will look at the creation around her and know that the Lord exists! Those of us who do believe, know that God said that even the creation proves his existence. I know many of us have seen some pretty dark days in our lives. And...to be frank...I wonder how some people seem to be happy all the time. It reminds me of a line out of the novel "Rich Man Poor Man" where Rudy Jordache meets this woman who was smiling and radiant. He said, "No one can be that happy!" But, Irwin Shaw wrote that novel and it definitely comes from a normal person's thoughts. Someday, those of us who know Christ will have total bliss. For now, as Michael Card so aptly wrote it, "there is joy in the journey!" May the peace of Christ be with you!


  1. I'm not happy all the time. In fact, I woke up in a pretty big funk this morning and I'm still trying to climb out of it. The thing that I'm convinced of is that we need each other. God never intended for us to be alone. I'm not talking about marriage--although that certainly is one more way that God brings people together. I'm talking about the church and the fellowship of believers. We need each other. It's so clearly spelled out in scripture--especially in Ephesians and Galatians. The church, even with all of it's flaws, warts and hypocrites (and I'm one of them) is where it's at.

  2. Roger,

    You are so right. We all do need each other. Even though there are so many in churches, groups, meetings, etc. How many people really know and care about others. It's something all of us need. As always, good words.


  3. your post was quite moving randy, one of your best to date. you are a gifted speaker and writer able to express things not many can. i am honored to be your reader and friend, terry