I recently attended a memorial service for a former student who took his life....
I taught not only this student but his older brother as well. They are super bright, military children who moved around a lot, but they seemed to have adjusted just fine to the high school where I currently teach.
The student who committed suicide was quiet, yet funny, and he was active in both his high school and college drama clubs.
Hearing about him taking his life made me think about him and his brother wondering if there were signs that we all missed. Also, wondering if there was any way possible that this entire situation could have ended differently.
However, his pastor reassured everyone present at the memorial service that mental illness is just like any other disease with outcomes that are not always what we may like. The pastor comforted us by lovingly declaring that God is with us all of the time, and this child was not alone when he took his last breathe. He was with God, and God probably shed the very first tear.
The pastor mentioned love a lot, and I have wondered, since hearing about this child’s death, if he was loved enough. However, by looking at his parents, brother, and all of the people who filled that church, it was apparent that He Was LOVED! Knowing this child, and seeing images of him that his family displayed after the service, I know that he knew that He Was Loved.
When the pastor stated several times that He Was LOVED, I thought about Pilate, from Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, who poignantly made the declaration to every person who was present at the funeral for her beloved granddaughter, Hagar, that She Was LOVED!
"Suddenly, like an elephant who has found his anger and lifts his trunks over the heads of the little men who want his teeth or his hide or his flesh or his strength, Pilate trumpeted for the sky itself to hear, "And she was LOVED!It was important to Pilate that everyone knew that her dear, Hagar, Was LOVED!
It seems that death always makes people think about love, and many of us wonder if the person who died knew that he/she was loved, and oftentimes we also want everyone to know that the deceased person was loved.
My people, there is something to this LOVE THING for sure... It is mentioned in The Bible so many times, and it appears that God places high priority on it. It is stated in the word that:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE." (1 Corinthians 13:13)One of the basic human needs seems to be love and it is free and should be given and received freely, all of the time, so that at the end of our lives our families can be comforted by knowing that We Were Loved!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!