RUOK DAY on September 15 each year has raised awareness on the matters of the silent killer, suicide.
To think of the number of people who choose to end their lives each day around our globe, not to mention all those who seriously consider, plan or contemplate it; it’s a horrific thought. It could be our father, our mother, our sister, daughter, son or brother. It could be someone that God’s putting in our path; it could be someone we are supposed to intervene with – a divine appointment to establish a connection, create options with, facilitate relationships, and encourage communications.
Four Strategies Worthy of Consideration
1. Establish a Connection – obtaining the credibility of care (that they might believe we care) is paramount if we are able to achieve it. Some people just won’t let us in no matter how we try to convince them that we love them. But once we have the credibility of care we are in a position where they might create options for themselves through our facilitation.
2. Create Options – I am told that people often suicide because they see no option; that suicide is the only option, or, by far and away, the only option worthy of consideration. This is not about us presenting options... “Oh, have you thought of...?” No, we don’t have the role of adviser or expert on matters of options. We are there to ask questions that are relevant to their lives. As we listen in to their hearts, we gain a sense of imagery for their lives, and simply through being curious we gain the perspective that, between us, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, options emerge. In this, we let God do his job between two people as they journey – neither having the answer initially.
3. Facilitate Relationships – connections with people who care are truly what the person considering suicide needs. People who care don’t have the answers, but they are willing to listen, to journey, to cry, to console the desolate, and to wonder silently about a life that may seem to make no sense whatsoever. Those who listen never judge. It is true human dialogue, where, if God were to speak, he would speak without any human intention, leading or manipulation.
4. Encourage Communications – connections, relationships and communications are paramount. Whilst we maintain contact and can talk about the deeper matters there is hope of revelation – that God wants us to keep journeying; to keep wondering; to keep holding the tensions of life, however stark they may be.
We never know when someone is dangerously close to ending their lives. A heart for preventing loss means we can pray for divine appointments to establish a connection with those struggling, work together to create options, facilitate relationships, and encourage ongoing communications. Connectedness is paramount; to know someone cares.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.