On a Sunday night a few weeks ago, I listened to a guy who had seen a bit of the worst that humanity has to offer. He was now a police chaplain who ministers to those that stand on that line I learned after hearing a story that hit close to home about a call he went on. He had even been pushed to the line of considering ending it all…more familiar territory for me. I listened to the story of (and from) a veteran officer who a year earlier was sitting in his truck under a bridge, staring at his pistol after his world fell in. He just stared at the reflection in the silver, polishing it, harder and harder.
When someone has to deal with the aftermath of violence, they have a hard time fitting quite back into society, or it seems that way from my experience. The more they deal with, the limits of their own resilience; at what point do you lose your soul? Pastor Tommy gave only two verses, Philippians 2: 15-16, that rang through me.
15 so that you will [a]prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you [b]appear as [c]lights in the world, 16 holding [d]fast the word of life…
Just the speck that I have dealt with still eats at me at times, the flashbacks, fatalistic attitude, fear, etc. How do you keep it together, I asked to myself as much as to God, after the sermon. Another verse from Philippians came to me; “I can do all things [a]through Him who strengthens me.”
It is the lights in this broken world that keeps us from falling apart. Despite stubborn pride that says otherwise, our strength IS limited, we have a breaking point. That is where God comes in at, His strength. Use that to be a Light, something good among the bad, we just might be a reason someone keeps going.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please talk to someone. Contact http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/