Thursday, March 19, 2009

Suicide and Pastoral Care

"Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple... if you are the son of God, he said, 'Throw yourself down...'"
from the story of the Temptation of Jesus in the Gospel according to Matthew 4

Yesterday Wayne taught about suicide in his Crisis Counseling class.
A recent report states that China is the only country in the world where suicides among women outnumber those of men.
Another report states that Chinese youth are more likely to die by their own hand than in any other way.

And last Sunday's South China Morning Post gave the startling statistic that in Hong Kong, a city of 7 million, an average of three people a day end their own lives, most of them by jumping from one of the many tall buildings.

One of Wayne's students said his father had committed suicide, another student had an older brother who died that way. Even though it happened years ago, they each cried as they confided their stories.

We remember Pastor Orville Sanderson, a much loved visitation pastor back in Iowa, who freely shared the fact this his mother had committed suicide when he was a teenager. Even though Pastor Orville was well into his 70's when we knew him, he still carried the enormous scar of that self-inflicted death. With the simplicity of just telling his story, he was able to comfort others affected by similar pain.

May God strengthen those people (in many fields) working for suicide-prevention,
and the Church that proclaims the worth and love of God for every individual person.

"Then Jesus said, 'Away from me Satan!'... and the angels came and attended him."
from The Temptation of Jesus, Matthew 4

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