Friday, May 26, 2006

another death, another tragedy

A neighbor of mine died on Saturday at home. Suicide. Depression. He was in a very dark place. He left a wife and two sons. Great kids – one just finished his freshman year at college and the youngest is in grade school. Supposedly the youngest one found him in the bathtub, wrists slashed. Please pray for the family.

They live at the end of my street and I walk by their house at least twice a day on my way to work and back. Although we’ve known them since they moved into the neighborhood, we didn’t socialize other than chatting when we met somewhere. My daughter babysat for them a while back. I remember when they adopted the youngest from Russia. Good memories. They are neat people.

I really enjoyed seeing him walk his dog, a long-legged beagle, usually accompanied by his youngest son. I enjoyed it more if we were able to stop and chat. He was a great guy, devoted to his family, cared about people as individuals as well concerned about and involved with his community.

I admire him.

What he did was wrong. Very wrong. He hurt his wife. He hurt his sons. There is absolutely nothing good about what he did. The thing is, he probably thought killing himself was doing the best thing. He was deceived that ultimately people, although they might not realize it, would be better off without him.

Some people will exhort you to do what is right for you and to follow your heart.

What a crock.

If your heart is your compass, then what happens if your compass is out of whack? What if it is wrong? We need an external compass to check our all-too-often faulty and deceptive internal compasses. Following our hearts without outside verification is something we all do too frequently. It is also something very ignorant and quite arrogant. Potentially, this is an all too deadly combination. We think we’re smart. We think we have deeper insights, better understanding, than others. No one else has walked in our shoes so no one can come close to fully appreciating our true perceptions of reality. So why bother trying to explain? We know what we know.

The Word also says the heart is deceptive and it is evil when people do what is right in their own eyes. We need an external compass that is true and stays true.

Depression is deceptive. Depression relies on deception.

I saw her the other day on my way to work. She and the youngest were walking the dogs. I said “I’m sorry.” What else do you say? She was about to start crying and didn’t want to. I didn’t want her to. I quickly commented that the beagle wasn’t so skinny anymore. She laughed, “You mean fat?” “No, she’s buff.” I got out of there.

Most stuff we tell ourselves about ourselves is a bunch of crap. Anyone else would recognize it as such but the easiest person to deceive is yourself. After we feed ourselves enough crap, everything starts to look crappy.

What foolishness.

What evil.

This is going nowhere. I’ll stop.

Final word: You’re full of crap. I’m full of crap. The world would be a better place if we all realized that. The world would be a better place if we all accepted that we are neither very insightful nor very intelligent; self-deception is the rule not the exception. Our internal compasses are junk and we need to check the external compasses provided by others and the Lord.

That may appear to be a rather negative conclusion. It’s not. It’s actually quite freeing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very good post.