We all have our story.
Sometimes our story is about someone we know. Sometimes our story is about ourselves.
But we all have a story about depression or suicide. That’s part of what makes it worse.
Because we all have our story, it is easy to think that everyone else’s story will sound just like ours. “They can get help the same way I did,” we think.
We forget that depression is not like the flu. There is no antibiotic or medicine that will “knock it right out” for everyone.
It’s also not something we can simply “pray away,” just as we don’t usually seek to pray away a broken leg.
There is One who can heal – and who may do so miraculously with His touch or medically with His gift.
But sometimes His voice goes unheard in the loud din of depression. Sometimes the inability to hear results in suicide.
That comes after believing the lie that your life does not have intrinsic value. But that lie sounds so much more convincing when heard through depression.
Once you believe it and act on it, there’s no more hiding it. Everything is in the open. And we judge it more severely because of the finality it brings.
But there is a finality to every sin. We cannot take them back. Each one reveals a lie we have believed, even if our revelation is not to the entire world.[Tweet “Suicide is not alone. There is a finality to every step. We cannot take them back.”]
Every wrong choice is a step you cannot take back. Yet, virtually every other step allows you to make another choice about the next step.
Suicide, as such a public and final step, stirs up questions – most often why? Why would they do this? Why did they not know they were loved?
When we find no satisfying answers to why, we move to who. Who can we point the finger at?
Too often when tragedy strikes, we are looking for someone to blame, instead of someone to help.
We’ve moved beyond the person who took their own life. This is now about us. We want it to be simple and easy. To say we’ve “solved the case.” But this fallen world is messy and things aren’t always that simple.
A lie was believed, but it was aided by depression and, in Robin William’s case, by Parkinson’s.
When such a final, complicated, regrettable act happens, we are all left with questions. But that doesn’t mean we will always get answers now.
After all, we are not asking questions about our story, but about the lies believed by someone else. Those don’t often get an answer.
In a Horse and His Boy, Aslan begins to explain to Shasta how he has been with him for his entire journey, unbeknownst to the young boy.
“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
“Then it was you who wounded Aravis?”
“It was I.”
“But what for?”
“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”
We are not guaranteed answers to a story which is not our own. Why should we be? We have enough lies to battle in our own life.
What gives us hope for our story is that we are not alone in feeling the effects of sin in this world. We aren’t the only one with scars.
We worship a God who has His own scars, who felt the sting of sin, even though He knew no sin Himself.
Instead of looking for perfect explanations, which probably do not exist, why not look instead to the Truth, who undeniably exists.
In times like this, we turn to Christ, not because we are going to get all the answers we want, but because we get Him. We get the truth to combat the lies in our own story, whatever they may be.