To my friend who is thinking about ending it all,
I know what it is like to think more about the end than the now, dying more than living, the pain more than the healing. I know what it is like to only want to escape. I know what it is like to despise yourself and everyone else. I am familiar with the voices in the head, the torment in the heart, and the raging in the mind. I hear you. If I were there with you right now I would not be able to stop myself from putting my arm around you. I wouldn’t care if you were tall, short, skinny, fat, male, female, homosexual, lesbian, Christian, Muslim, old, young, clean, or dirty, black, white, brown, or red. I wouldn’t care if we disagreed theologically, politically, or socially. I would hold you tight. I would not say anything for quite some time. I would let the moments pass trying to help carry your weight. I just want you to feel again, something other than self-hate, other than pain. I want you to remember what the spark of hope feels like, to know that someone does care. I would cry with you. I would let my tears run down your neck washing away guilt and pain. I want to give you back the gift of life.
After your sobbing stopped, I would whisper in your ear that your life matters to me. I know you don’t know me but that doesn’t mean that I am not real. I would ask you to reach far within yourself and find the last bit of faith you might have left and believe that your life matters to Jesus too. See, He sent me. He is why I am here. I remember when I was little, when all I could do was fail. My whole life seemed to be under the curse of being the underdog. I was too young to know any better, I didn’t have a reason to live, and I could not see anything good in my future. My self-hate was the only thing I had left. Sorrow had taken the rest from me. It left me hollow. I remember holding the gun. I remember thinking the thoughts you are thinking. If I could have only known then what I know now. Today I am glad I didn’t pull the trigger. I’m glad because I can be here with you. I wanted you to know that Jesus met me, no I am not talking about a hypocritical religion. The Man, the Teacher, the Son of God, came to me and healed my pain. You see He held me like I am holding you. He asked me to believe in life and His love. He asked me to give my life to Him so that He could love me like I was created to be loved. I know it doesn’t feel like it but you and I were created to be loved. That is why we are here, that is why I am here with you now.
So please put down the gun, the pills, or the syringe. Death is much colder than living in pain. I can’t go with you to death, I am here with you now just like Jesus is. Stay here with me. I want to ask you to be my friend and my neighbor. I have three kids who would not be here if Jesus had not shown up for me and I would like you to meet them some day. If I had pulled the trigger I would not be here to write you this letter. I believe that you have purpose, maybe it is to put your arm around someone else who is just like us? Maybe the one that you are going to help is a girl, maybe her name is Jennifer, maybe she is waiting on you like you were waiting on me?
After letting these thoughts I have given you sink in, I would offer to make you some hot chocolate, coffee, or tea. Heck, I would even make you pancakes. Then you could complain about my cooking. I would listen to you as you pour out your heart, even if it took all night. I would give you my phone number, email address, and Facebook information. I would send you notes of encouragement, I would take you to church with me, and I would have you over for dinner to meet my family. I would watch you grow, have a family of your own, or see the one you have restored. I would help you find a new job, plan for a better future, and introduce you to new friends. We would create new memories and talk about life. I would insist that you go watch a sunrise on the beach, climb a mountain, and sit by a rolling creek. I would watch as your frown turned into a smile that became infectious. I would teach you about Jesus, the real Jesus, the One who was beaten so badly that you could see His intestines from the backside. The One who has holes in His hands. I would show you how much He gave up to be with you, to call you to Himself, to give you a reason to live. I would try to be there when you are frustrated or angry, I would try to teach you to love your enemies and find peace through life’s storms. I would teach you to pray and to wait on God.
I hope you can hear me. If you can’t hear me then know that God can hear you. Call out to Him now and ask Him to be real to you. Ask Him to show you His scars, the ones He took so that you would not do what you are about to do. Give Him and I a chance.
Through my voice, my letter, I want you to hear God say, I love you.
To my new friend, here’s to living! Please get ahold me. I look forward to hearing from you. There is more I would like to say but you will have to stay alive to hear it. I will be waiting, and there are more like me. Thousands of us who are real, were not fakes or phonies. We care and we are everywhere. I look forward to meeting you, until then I will be thinking of you and so will Jesus.