Saturday was a great day for us. While it was cool and windy the weather was inviting and we decided to take the invitation and head outside. We being Susan, Jason, Rachel, Wendy and I, pilled into the van and headed to the small and quiet town of Port Perry. Though the ice is not yet off the lake, and though that caused the wind to be a bit cool, while Wendy hit the shops, the rest of us headed to the park.
We had stopped to buy Rachel a ball – think dollar store cheap – and she was looking forward to throwing it around the park. I know so because she confided in me.
At the park she was only interested in the ball for 5 minutes when suddenly she spotted the playground – a very large structure bathed in sunshine. Rachel was out of the gate like a race horse and across the field with one or two minor falls as recorded by my video posted earlier this week.
After a great time in the park and some time walking about town catching up to Wendy and visiting the bakery and candy shops….we headed home.
That’s when we began to read the shocking news about Matthew Warren taking his own life.
I don’t know the Warrens, I once was part of a conference where Rick spoke. There were about 700 pastors in attendance and I was struck by something Rick said so I wrote him and was shocked when he replied! I didn’t really expect to hear from someone so busy both travelling, speaking and running what was then a church of about 4000.
I have only walked along side a couple of families who have dealt with suicide. For many it is a bitter sweet moment. I remember one mother told me that she had spent so many years walking into the house overcome with anxiety expecting to find her son dead that when it finally happened she felt relieved. She also felt guilty for feeling relieved.
Mental health is in the news a great deal right now and so it should be. Depression and the anxiety that some of these folks suffer from is not connected to their faith, it is a condition that medical science is attempting to address but unfortunately too many either don’t get the help they need or don’t remain on medication. And all too often we don’t understand the issue or the people involved and they feel condemned.
I’ve been thinking much about the Warren family, of the deep suffering they must be enduring and the weight of this pain which will continue with them for years to come – perhaps all their lives.
As a pastor I’ve walked with many families through many tragic events. But losing a child is perhaps the most difficult and losing a child to their own hand even more so.