Somber Thoughts Indeed

This weekend I heard horrendous news, shocking really, I saw on facebook that the minister of the church I had attended for 20 years had passed away. I had not heard that he had been ill, there were no reports of an accident. So I contacted a friend and asked what had happened. That is when I learned the horrible, sad news, it was by his own hand.
In all of the teachings that I have learned over the years being Baptist, taking ones own life was a sin. A mortal sin. Once it is done, there is no coming back, no asking forgiveness, nothing. When you are Baptist, being in mental anguish is never taken into consideration in any teaching. So this is very shocking and has left me conflicted. If you have read me for any length of time you know I was raised in a very strict Freewill Baptist household. When I moved to Texas I attended a very strict Southern Baptist Church, where this man was the minister, and still was after I left.
I don’t know what to say to my children, two of whom he baptized, I don’t know what to say to my friends that still go there. I don’t comment on facebook because so many people are writing things like “he is looking down on all of you”, well according to what he himself taught, no he isn’t.
However, I don’t believe God is as harsh as I was taught as a child and adult, I believe he does take mental pain and anguish into consideration. I do believe he will be lenient with his child. I know I have no answers to give my own children at this time, I do know that his family is in great pain. They will never be able to reconcile this act with the man they knew, what he did has long-lasting, long reaching effects. He has left a wife, children and grandchildren who will struggle with this situation for years. My heart goes out to them and my prayers are for them, and the parishioners he left to wonder and grieve.
I think of Sandi, who fought a physical fight for over 20 years, only to lose her battle. She never gave up, never gave in and never contemplated taking her own life. I still miss her, even a year later I think about her every day. I miss her every day, last week was incredibly hard, but I muddle through. I am hoping for a better week this week, I hope everyone has a good week.

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