Life Taken

A few nights ago I got a call that broke my heart. A friend of mine ended his own life. I hadn’t seen him in a couple years, and honestly was never super close with him. But such a thing always jolts your universe, even if just slightly. It was 3:00 a.m. when I heard the news. I messaged a friend that was closest to him, and went for a walk. I didn’t know what to think or do. I moseyed a few blocks away to an apartment complex, purchased a can of soda and sat down on a couch in the open lobby. I was as alone as a drifting piece of ice in the arctic. I didn’t drink the soda. I set it down, put my hands on my face and prayed. For the first time that night tears swelled up in my eyes. But I was comforted. Suicide is a terrible and oft misunderstood thing. I couldn’t wrap my head around why he did it. I could not comprehend why he didn’t reach out, or how he could leave two beautiful daughters behind. But I found solace in knowing the Lord knew, and in knowing my friend was no longer suffering.

For the next couple days an unquiet  feeling persisted in my heart. I had to write something down. I grabbed my notebook, went for a drive and feverishly jotted down what was in my head. I didn’t change a single word, and I am not even sure if it is a poem, if it’s an homage, or if it’s just an emotional journal entry, but here is what I wrote:

“We can see the top. It’s distant, but there it is, visible and possible. But we also see the fall, we see the cracks in the rock and the hopeless plummet. Is there one life bereft of meaning? Is there one person undeserving of life? No matter, for life passes for better or worse. For some a swift end comes. The beats of the heart go silent, and though the rest of the world goes on, it is forever changed. No life is immune to this difference. For a life comes and changes. Death comes and it changes. A life whether given or taken, gives and takes. But oh the glory of the give, and the horror of the take.”

I am saddened and confused. But I know my friend will be seen and embraced again. For this life is not the only life.

Prayer

A certain thought woke me up. I imagined at the end of my life a sort of demonstration of all the prayers I had given, a physical scroll unraveled, revealing every word I ever uttered to my Creator. I saw before me the scrolls of other people, some seemed to stretch on forever in tiny print, while others had but a few lines. I wondered whose would be most interesting to read. Then I wondered if mine would elicit any real intrigue.

Were mine beautiful words sent heavenward in both times of defeat and triumph? Or were they lifeless repetitions haphazardly hurled above me with wavering consistency? My scroll was hidden, for my heart still held a beat. But I feared for the latter. I feared that when I met my maker my scroll would be inadequate for Him that saved me.