Wow.  Life is crazy.  The past few months have been tumultuous ride, to say the least. Then 16 days ago it all seemed to come to a deadening halt, when I received word from back home that someone very close to me attempted to end their life.  This news rushed through me like a freight train barreling down the tracks in the dead of midnight: it shook me to my bones. Why?  That was my first reaction, and I have spent the past 16 days of this nightmare trying to come to a conclusion.  Now, I don’t mean to say that I could in 16 days tell you why every single suicide, or suicide attempt ever happened, because that would be a dangerous generalization to make.  All situations are different, and each case has a certain set of extenuating circumstances, and at the end of it all I don’t think it will ever make complete sense.  I can just tell you that in regard to the situation with this person back home, after 16 days I can see quite obviously what was lacking in their life. Love. 

After taking the time to evaluate the situation I can see that this person was obviously struggling to feel loved, to find worth in life, to know that they were doing something important with their life.   Why? Simply stated, it because we live in a world where we are more concerned with ourselves than with loving and caring about others.  Yes, as a human it is important to find something that makes you happy, independent of other people, but even so, as humans we were created to be in relationship, to receive affirmation from others that we ARE loved, we ARE worth someone’s time, we ARE beautiful, that we ARE valuable in some way.  Unfortunately when this does not happen, when people feel unloved, things start to unravel pretty quickly.  People are generally more critical of themselves than others are of them, so imagine how difficult it can become for a person to value their life if the people around them are not showing them that their life IS valuable. 

This has been a crushing reality for me to face, because I am a part of the problem.  I am just as unloving as the next person.  I am quick to get angry. I am self righteous.  I am selfish. I live for my own personal gain and I am unforgiving.  If all this is true about me, which I assure you it is, then I played an equal role in this person’s suicide  attempt as they did.  Let me say that again.  I played an equal role.  I am guilty as charged of not showing that person how valuable their life IS to me personally.  Instead in my actions I just reinforced all of the negative things they were feeling.  I got too focused on myself, on what I could do, what I needed…that I totally missed the point…Love.

 

In the Bible in the book of John Jesus says, “This is my command, love one another as I have loved you.”  As a Christian person, when I think about how Jesus actually loved me, this has huge implications for the way I should be living my life.  Jesus lived a Perfect life, in the eyes of God.  He was blameless. On my best days, my righteousness could never even come close to that. But still, as God’s only Son, Jesus died a criminal’s death on the cross for me.  While I was still sinning, because He loves me, he gave up his life, so that I could live.  So when Jesus said, “Love as I have loved you.”  This is a serious thing for me. He gave his life for me.  The ultimate sacrifice, he would rather die so I would recognize my worth, than leave me wondering.  

So then what does this mean?  Is it enough to say that I am trying to love, but I know I can never be perfect so I will do what I can but it is ok to slip-up because I will never be all I am supposed to be.  Yeah I suppose that is one way to look at it. However, if you read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he says that In CHRIST we are becoming NEW creations.   He doesn’t say that in ourselves we are new.  He says IN CHRIST we are new.

This to me means that yeah, I can’t be a perfect person, because I am a human. However, Christ is perfect, so I need to let Christ’s love control my heart, mind, and interactions.   These passages in the Bible tell me that being a Christian isn’t just a personal relationship with God, being a Christian is a NEW way of interacting with the world.  Being a Christian means, letting Christ control my life, and letting him work through me to show others that they are valuable to me just because they exist.  That is my goal…To love people as Christ first loved me. 

 

You may not be a Christian, and that is ok. But I am sure you can get down with the idea that this world needs more love.   We hear all the time stories on the news about terrible things happening.  There are school shootings, murder, rape, child abuse, suicide, fighting and war.  The world is crumbling around us. In my opinion everyday we have the choice to pick up the pieces and start putting it back together by LOVING one another, or breaking it into smaller pieces by remaining apathetic.  I mean really loving people, just because they are people, and they have just as much a right to happiness as the rest of us. 

 

I will be the first to admit that I am constantly falling short of this goal.  It took this person from back home attempting to end their life for me to realize how wrapped up in myself I was.  It breaks my heart that this had to be the breaking point. That it wasn’t until I almost lost someone I care for dearly, that I realized where I needed to improve. 

Even now, I know that I will never be perfect, and it is going to be so difficult but I am not going to let that be an excuse for me to not love people anymore. Life is too precious to me, and the people that I care about are too important to lose, and I need to be better for them.  The truth is we are a global community.  We all play a part in the state of the world, and the state of one another’s lives.  We have a choice everyday, between love and the alternative.  

I don’t know about you, but I choose Love.

 

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