His name was Joe but that’s all that I really knew about him; sad to say that I didn’t know nor inquired to know what his last name was. He worked outside as a car detailer at my job and his age range was between 50 – 60 years old, a white-haired, lanky and very respectful Caucasian gentleman. He was always smiling and although I do believe that the smile was genuine, I could tell that he was masking something else. In fact I was just thinking the other day about how I needed to have my car detailed and that I would throw him a few bones – that is how he made his some side money.
Here at the job we knew that he would sometimes binge on whatever but he was one of the hardest workers at his age and frailty. Up act the crack of light in the heat of the sun or the blistering cold or the pouring rain – all climates, no matter the thermometer going up or below – he was here working. I felt for him because no one should have to work that hard to live so meagerly – life itself is hard but to live hard is another thing. Although I thought it was a blessing that when his roommate had died and he was in need of a place to stay, the company offered him a small apartment on the property that was atop an old office building. All Joe had to do was walk out of his back door, down the steps, walk a few short paces and he was at his job. No commuting; which was good because he didn’t have a vehicle. The coffee was ready for him in the mornings and he worked at his own pace. To some they would see it as a stress less life – To him he saw what was the point of going on in this life and this past Sunday, Joe committed suicide by hanging himself from the banister of the very steps he trotted down each morning to come to work. He just made up his mind that he was going to do it, called our General Manager and told him that he had made the noose and that it was in his hands and proceeded to do it while the General Manager was still on the line pleading for him not to do it.
Why is it that some see blessings in this life – while others see a reason to call it quits?
What bothers me most about this tragedy and disturbs my spirit is a question that just keeps repeating in my mind, “Why couldn’t he find the one who can always be found?” God is omnipresent and omnipotent – But we have the choice of “will we trust him or won’t we.” I will never doubt the fact that God had revealed himself as God to Joe, as he has to each of us. The choice was up to Joe.
Suicide – We have all thought about it; visited the idea, if only but for a brief moment of time, and perhaps vowed to never revisit or entertain the thought or notion ever again – We have allowed life all by itself to make us consider and contemplate ending life itself; to take your own life, into your own hands. Sort of like a life devoid of a relationship with Christ – It’s totally suicidal.
I had a brief stint at working for Vital Statics and most would be alarmed and disturbed at the amount of suicides that take place. I had the disappointment of entering death records. Many of the death certificates were of people committing suicide and until then, I had no idea the rate it was happening. Suicide is real. Depression is real. Mental illness is real. Heartbreak is real. Life is real. Life without trusting God to bring you through is as real as you can get!
A part of me totally understands Joe because I heard about his passing in passing conversation. No one even mentioned his death as a loss – a loss to the company or the loss of another person because life had become too much for them, but it could easily be any of us but for God’s Grace.
No one really cared and he felt it and he knew it. They key to this life is not fretting over whether someone cares about you but rather to KNOW that God cares about you. The company we work for didn’t miss one beat and stayed right on schedule, we didn’t shut down for the day or for an hour; or even a moment of silence for the deceased that had died just a few feet away. We pause and pray for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings but not for a lost soul. So what are we truly thankful for, if we are not caring about another one of God’s children?
The choices that I have made has increased my life’s load and burdens, but no matter how far I have fallen – Christ was there for me to hold onto, and he has always restored me to glory; that is where I find my trust… In his faithfulness. Not taking grace in vain but recognizing and worshipping and honoring the fact that he does Love Me! In spite of me! He just loves me and when you think about that kind of love – who wouldn’t want to worship that God?
The Show of Life goes on be it, in this life or the next – it continues on. And that is the beauty of life; once God gives you the gift of it – it keeps on going.