By Jeenie Gordon:
This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide, and used by permission from New Hope Publishers and author Jeenie Gordon, licensed marriage and family therapist.
Never will I forget the day Anthony stumbled into my high school counseling office. Slamming the door until the windows were shaken, he collapsed in the chair beside my desk. Desperately he pounded his fists on my desk, cursing and yelling. All the while, tears splashed down his shirt.
Silently I waited.
Slowly he began to open up. His parents had split up, just before his high school graduation. What should have been the most exciting day of his life, he anticipated with gut-wrenching pain.
For two hours we talked.
As he was leaving, he commented, “I want you to know, Mrs. Gordon, that as I passed by your office window at lunchtime. I knew I had to talk to you. Actually, I was on my way home to blow out my brains.”
Three years later, with a bright smile on his face, Antony once again stood in my doorway. “Hey there, you remember me?”
I smiled and nodded.
In tow was an adorable, blond, blue-eyed two-year-old girl. Sitting on his knee, he stated.
“This is my little daughter. I’m now married and an electrician’s apprentice. Life is good.”
We had a long chat, catching up on his life, one saved from the death grip of suicide. He gave me a hug as they left.
With tears glistening in my eyes, I thought, if I had not been there for him, he would have missed all this. Thank you, heavenly Father, for using me.
A life was saved.
Many of us could actually be a life saver without our knowledge. We always have enough time to listen to a distraught person. Often it has nothing to do with our ability to guide, direct, or supply the right answers. It is just a listening heart – one attune to the pain of others and the willingness to take a few minutes to care.
Anthony told me he had planned to take his life, but often we do not have that information. But when we allow God to use us as encouragers, who knows, we may be a life saver.