Phone reception wavered in and out the entire week. Generally at about five every morning, I was jostled awake by my phone going into convulsions as the last twenty-four hours’ voicemails and texts somehow made it to my ghetto little razor phone. I could easily read the texts, but couldn’t get any of the voicemail messages. It’s probably for the best. Our last night at summer camp found me out in the field, way far away from everything, but reception had kicked in there and my phone was vibrating. It was my lovely mother, I was assuming that she was calling about my car that broke down before I left for camp.

Although she did call with news about my wheels, her voice was too serious and too worried for that to be her exclusive reason to call.

My parents had a friend living with them for several months. He lost his job and wasn’t able to keep one for very long, so they let him stay with them, rent free. I don’t think that there’s anything more generous than opening your home to someone in a situation like this. Unfortunately, more than anything, he sat around and drank beer and ate food. Isn’t that typically the case? Either way, my parents allowed him to stay, even when he got into some trouble with the law, they never were disparaging toward him. Something I don’t think that I could accomplish. I have to give him some credit, he occasionally did a few things around the house and tried to help out here and there.

Well, the time came that he had to begin taking care of himself again, he was being enabled to live a lifestyle that nobody should. My mother made dinner, and they wrote out a check to him to help get him on his feet. He made a few phone calls and parted with thanks and hugs. His brother was going to house him for a while. My parents felt bad, but decided that they had done the right thing.

He went missing while I was at camp. My dad saw him parked off a main road on the east side of town, talked to him, and it was decided that he was still ok. He had family around to stay with.

They found him Friday night, he had hung himself.

I don’t even know if it’s appropriate to write about this.

I left out a few details, he stayed with family here and there, even his ex-wife, but couldn’t find a place to stick to. How hopeless can one be, how desperate, how sad, how confused, to take such action? My parents flipped out. I had to go see them Friday night to make sure that they were going to be OK, and quite frankly, to make sure that they didn’t blame themselves.

My dad was mad more than anything. His generation is one that decided men can only show one emotion, and that’s anger. He never talked about feelings with anyone other than maybe his parents and my mom. I was surprised then when he asked me, “Jake, what do you think God does when somebody does something like this?” His bleary eyes stared down at the table between us, not ever looking up.

Sometimes Christians are there merely for hope, love and support. I tried to do that, but I don’t know the answer. I told him, “I guess it depends on their relationship with Him, what’s in their hearts when it happens. I think that people can be driven down that path against their wills, but ultimately, God knows, and we don’t.”

Am I right?

Jesus died to provide atonement for all the messes we get into, otherwise known as our sin. In Matthew chapter twelve He says,

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Blaspheming the Holy Ghost is the only unpardonable sin we can commit. We steal, hate, kill each other, lie, and God is faithful to forgive us. If you look up “blasphemy” in this context, the Hebrew word used here is “Batel” which means to quit or cease. He won’t forgive us if we give up on Him, don’t rely on Him, or if we turn our backs on Him and go it alone. Does something as sad as suicide reflect that? Is it a proverbial middle finger in the air, directed at God? I think it all depends on the person, I guess.

I genuinely think that a person can be so tormented, so sad, so lonely, so out of their regular mind that they can fall into a trap like suicide because of the weight of the world on them, not to mention so many other factors. I’m curious to know the truth.