Why suicide is not the answer

I AM not a stranger to the desire to end one's life. I had to confront it very directly when my son committed suicide—chose what he thought would be oblivion.

Someone thinking of suicide may look at it from the perspective of what he or she has observed about death. The body looks lifeless, without care or feeling or responsibilities. It might appear to be the kind of carefree oblivion he or she is seeking—but this would mean that God, divine Life itself, and all the good Life has to offer can come to an end. And that can't really happen.

Before Jesus' time, Elisha restored to life a boy who had died (see II Kings 4:8–37). The son of a widow had died, but was returned to life by Jesus (see Luke 7:12–15). When he learned that Lazarus was ill, the Master did not rush to his side (see John 11:1–44). Jesus' understanding of God as the ever-present source of Life evidently precluded pressure by time. He arrived at Lazarus's home only to find he had been buried four days before. The body would have already begun to decompose. Yet, when Jesus called to him, Lazarus came out of the tomb—whole.

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November 17, 1997

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