Thursday, February 19, 2009

Man commits suicide at Crystal Cathedral - be aware of those who are depressed in this economy

Barry Winders alerted me to a story from the LA Times about a man who committed suicide in the Crystal Cathedral. Here is some of the story:

A man walked into the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove on Wednesday, knelt down at the foot of a cross and fatally shot himself in the head.

The man entered the sanctuary about 9:40 a.m. and gave a handwritten note to a church volunteer. He then walked to the front of the pews, knelt before the cross and removed a semiautomatic handgun from his backpack . . .

Betty Spicer, a volunteer greeter at the cathedral, said that when the man walked in, the sanctuary was nearly empty except for a group of Canadian tourists."I said, 'Good morning, welcome to the Crystal Cathedral.' " She asked the man, "Where are you from?" He replied, "Oh, from around here."

He handed Spicer a folded note written with a felt-tip pen. Tucked into the middle of the note was his driver's license and what appeared to be a business card. As Smick was walking down the aisle, she began reading the note, which referred to a truck in the parking lot and a gun.

"The next minute, there was a pop," Spicer said. "I thought he was praying. I didn't realize he had shot himself."Yvette Manson, another volunteer, said she was talking to the tourists when she heard a sound that she likened to the noise from a firecracker. "I had just been telling them about the suicide prevention ministry we have."

Read the rest of the LA Times story.

This is incredibly sad and tragic. In today's ailing economy, with job losses, family problems, and great stress, more people are considering ending their lives. We need to be ready to note signs of depression in our family, friends, co-workers, and even fellow Christians. This man had some kind of faith, and his friend reported that he was a spiritual person. Christians are not exempt from Satan's attacks.

If anyone speaks of suicide, we must immediately get them help. Someone needs to go to them and stay with them immediately (not leave them alone) until they can see a counselor and have an assessment done. People sometimes believe the myth that if a person talks about suicide, he or she will not do this. This simply is not true. What is true is that if they talk about it, they need help and may be trying to alert people that they need help.

To anyone who might be considering this--don't! We love you. God loves you. Your family loves you. Christ defeated Satan at the cross and was raised from the dead. Through Christ, God can overcome the challenges you are facing. Suicide leaves scars on spouse, children, and friends for generations. Get the help you need. Tell someone your thoughts. Talk to a counselor, a minister, a spiritual leader, a friend, a spouse. See a doctor and get a health checkup. Get rest. Talk to God. Cry out to him. Cry out to those around. And remember, we love you and want to help you!!

What can we do to help those who are struggling with depression?


Anonymous said...

We certianly need to be aware of the people around us and their mood. Most people to ask for help from people. Always take a comment about suicide seriously. You gave very good advice. There is help available here at High Pointe.

James said...

Yes, we have a great counseling staff here at High Pointe who will help anyone in need.