Summary: Help teens realize that suicide is not an option in the 2nd sermon in the Untouchables Series.
Lori was 14 years old when she was baptized at Blue Springs Community Church, a one-room country church only a few miles from her house. A few months later, Lori dropped out of the church. The pastor and his wife visited her several times, but failed to persuade Lori to return to church. Everyone was concerned for her, but no one suspected the real reason for her absence. Lori was pregnant. About a month before she was expected to deliver, Lori tidied her room, emptied her school locker, and wrote a note to her mother:
“You kept asking me if I was OK and I kept telling you I was, but I wasn’t OK. I’m sorry, Mom. I’ve got too many problems. I am taking the easy way out.”
Lori left that day before her mother arrived home from work. She walked to the railroad tracks near her house, knelt between the rails, and folder hands over her little round belly as Amtrak 168 barreled down upon her. The train engineer, a man who had a fourteen-year-old daughter of his own, later said that when he saw Lori, it was too late to stop the train. He watched her cross herself before she died.
Suicide is not a funny thing. People everyday consider “ending it all.” In fact, Suicide is the third leading cause of death among t15-24 year olds. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eighteen teenagers per day kill themselves in the United States. Every 80 minutes another teenagers commits suicide. Over a hundred teens per week, and the total come to a staggering 6,500 lives lost. Not only that, but over 1000 teens per day attempt to commit suicide. That’s almost 1 teen per minute. 73% of kids admit having thought about suicide. How many of you in here know someone who has talked about or attempted suicide? The statistics show that at least 70% of you know someone who has attempted it.
Every suicide is an attempt to say, “I NEED HELP.” People will use faulty reasoning, and have a deep sense of hopelessness. They’ll say things like, “nobody cares about me,” “I wish I were dead,” “this world would better off without me.” I often wonder why someone would do something like this, but then I remember when I was in high school. On many occasions after a fight with my girlfriend, I’d have visions of driving my car into a ditch at 90 mph. I guess I had those thoughts myself. I thought, “I’ll show her…she’ll admit she was wrong when I’m dead.” It was that faulty reasoning that made me have those thoughts. I guess as a teenager you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. There are so many things, and people vying for your attention, and sometimes you just can’t take it. Your parents are always doggin’ you, you just broke up with a boyfriend who cheated on you with your best friend, your heart hurts, you think it’d just be better to not exist at all…then the pain will go away. So, what do you do? You cut your wrists. You don’t really know what’ll happen, but who cares. You want the pain to stop. You’re tired of feeling the way you do, and you just want to stop hurting. It’s easy.
The truth is that others have felt that way before you. Others have dealt with hurt, with pain. Others have wished they didn’t exist. Psalm 73:14, “all day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.” Those others are people from the Bible-God’s love letter. What!?! The Bible, a book of hope contains stories of suicide? Yes. Job 3:1-11, “ 1 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 He said: "May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ’A boy is born!’ That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it. 5 May darkness and deep shadow [a] claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light. 6 That night—may thick darkness seize it;
may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. 7 May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. 8 May those who curse days [b] curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan. 9 May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, 10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes. 11 "Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?”