Tribute To Greg! Hebrews 11:32,33

Several days ago 29 year old Greg said “goodbye” to his friends and his family, then under the shadow of dark prepared to die!  He arranged his own death, dramatically, orchestrating his own hanging!
For several days while we lived in the middle of this tragedy, this enormous loss, we witnessed so much pain.  Comments surrounding Greg’s death promoted a common question:  Why?  Why would a young man with a wife and four-year old daughter, with a job, toys, take his own life?
The Lord spoke clearly to my heart:  He felt no hope, no light, no joy–only darkness within his spirit!
Heavy chains of despair had dragged Greg’s spirit so far down into a deep isolated pit there appeared to be no way out for him.  So he chose what he saw as his only escape: death!   A statement was made that Greg was very “cowardly” and in the same breath very “brave”.   Most of Gregs friends are just angry.  Angry at Greg:  for taking his own life, for the loss of a friend, for so much sadness left behind, for the abandonment, for the lack of sharing, for the decision Greg selfishly redeemed. 
I believe when one is so desparate to take their life, there must be such a suffering of aloneness, of isolation and lack of direction that there seems to be no way out of their pain.  Personally, I feel sadness that Greg could not reach out to experience the love of God, His power and glory as well as connecting to a God that loves us unconditionally.  When there is a relationship with our Savior there is no darkness, despair or isolation.  There is no time for that; we are too busy serving Him.  When we try to rely on the things of this world to fulfill us, those things will fall short.  Instant gratification is just that “instant”.  Non-lasting!  Here today, gone tomorrow! 
But when one is connected to the Spirit of God; living outside our selfish desires; feeling the power and the love of our Lord and Savior, there is no room for isolation or desolation.  We reach out, not only to God, but to others in fellowship and friendship.  We connect to those of ‘like mind’; but we also touch those that do not know the Lord through our own actions and words!  We do not isolate our feelings, we share them.  We don’t practice in the dark what cannot be shown in the light.   Representing Christ, what you see is what you get!
Perhaps we can all learn from Greg.  When behavior changes, when there is a switch in someone’s personality toward the negative; reach out, be aware!  Try to touch that person’s life.  Open up yourself to show you can be trusted to share whatever pain exists.  Give them an ear so they can vent and then don’t lecture them, but listen, not judging or condemning!  Share a personal experience with them.  By making yourself vulnerable you can show them what God has done to bring you from your past to current options through Christ.  Perhaps in that way the one hurting can see a way to ease their pain, so things don’t look so dark. 
We cannot blame ourselves when one commits suicide!  We cannot judge–that is God’s right alone!  We can pray that in Greg’s final moments perhaps he reached out to God and in that realization God was there! 
Our Christian family offer sincere condolences to Greg’s family and friends!  He will be missed, especially his smile!!
Sharon, Max, Tamara!   Hebrews 11:32,33; 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

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