Sorry this will be a long post. If you do not feel like reading it all get this out of it... WE HAVE A KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH THAT MUST BE SHARED! This world is dark and we who claim Christ as our Lord... live in the light. We cannot just sit around enjoying our light... WE MUST SHARE IT!!
This documentary, much like what it is talking about, is mysterious yet so sad. It is not for all viewers!! The footage is quiet graphic and shocking. I am actually a little troubled that it has spoken to me as deeply as it has. I have mentioned it in many conversations over the last months. It is a documentary I stumbled across on the Independent Film Channel late one night. The Bridge in the documentary is the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. It states that in 2004, 24 people jumped to their deaths from the bridge and that more people have choosen to end their lives on the Golden Gate Bridge than anywhere else in the world.
It tells the story of most of the people who have committed or tried to commit suicide off of the bridge in 2004. These stories are told through the friends, family, eye witnesses, and in one case the guy who lived - along with very disturbing footage of the actual events.
(I checked and the camera crew was trained in what to look for in a possible jumper. They were instructed to call the police whenever they noticed this... they were not allowed to just sit and tape it happening. I guess the police did not make it there in time and sometimes they did not see them as a threat. Others were saved through this project... I could not stomach a camera crew just sitting filming and not taking action... so that somewhat comforted me in viewing this. You can tell it also, b/c the camera is just as shocked as you are at what is happening. Anyway... back to the nugget.)
There is so much depth and realness to this movie. I live in my Christian bubble... my world is one of light... of hope. I often forget how dark the world without Jesus is. This film served as a huge reminder of that for me. I could pick a hundred nuggets of truth, but I choose this one.
Background: This is a family friend of one of the jumpers, Gene. Gene had reached out to her on many occasions. She did not know how to offer him hope. Gene was constantly threating to kill himself. So much so that his friends just assumed like all the other times he was calling wolf. He looked for love on the internet only to get burned over and over. This one lady though was able to reach in and connect. She had asked him to make two promises (which he kept)... 1. call and tell her goodbye 2. put her name and phone number in a plastic bag and keep it with him so that she would be called and know he had done it. Ok... that is disturbing enough, but here is something profound she said:
"I don't know why people kill themselves, and yet... it's a small step to emphasize. Because I think we all experience moments of despair. It would be just so much easier just not to do this anymore. But for most of us the sun comes out and 'oh well... tomorrow is another day.'"
This Gone with the Wind attitude saddens me. A hope, a future that only lasts a day at a time. It is so hard for people to just make it through a day at time. Gene who was struggling to find work had a answering machine message at home offering him a job. That may have been what he needed to make it through another day... but then what? Joy, hope, peace that is of this world fades. Many of these people were mentally disturbed... but does that make them so different? Like this lady said... it is a small step to emphasize. It is part of living in this world. Despair is a reality. Suicidal thoughts of deep despair are even in the Bible.
Psalm 102 says this:
1 Hear my prayer, O LORD;
let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
3 For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.
5 Because of my loud groaning
I am reduced to skin and bones.
When I think of suicide in the Bible my mind immediately goes to Judas. This stuff is real! It is deep. It happens under our eyes.
God does not want to give us despair and troubles so bad that we can not hold on another day. He has other plans: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..." (Jeremiah 29:11) What these people needed was a deep allknowing compassion only found in God. Sure... medicine could have helped. But God is much stronger than anti-depressants. Medicine alone is not the answer. These people needed to know God.
We Christians have the greatest hope... the greatest future. It is wrong to sit by and not tell others. We need to shine!
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:15-16)
I could go on and on... becuase this is not only on my heart... but God's heart. I have just been so challenged to be a better light. A light in a bubble does no good... I have to burst that bubble so that others may see and enter.
Oh Lord, thank you for the hope, joy, peace, and love You give. Thank you that you allow me to be light to a darkened world. Give me opportunities to shine. Let me see those around me who are hurting and need Your healing hand in their lives. Amen