I read recently in the Poughkeepsie Journal that the father of a murdered college student from Hyde Park committed suicide. I was very saddened to think of the grief that family has had to bear already, and now this.
I imagine that this father just couldn’t take it any more: constantly thinking about his daughter’s murder, about the upcoming trial of her alleged killer, the “what ifs” running through his mind, trying to comfort his distraught family. Sometimes the pain is just too much.
We can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to have such a tragedy in your family. Let me suggest that when we read about something like this in the newspaper or hear about it in the news, we stop and say a quick prayer for the people involved. Better yet, write down something on a prayer list and pray for them whenever you pray for the concerns on that list.
We might feel tempted to denounce that father for abandoning his family, but let’s not be too quick to do so. Sometimes the pain is more than anybody can bear. It certainly was in this case. I can’t believe that God, knowing such pain, will condemn him when be comes before the judgment seat. I believe God will wipe away his tears and welcome him to that place where there are no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering.
Finally, as a pastor I receive many prayer requests concerning terrible things people are going through, often health-related. The human body is a masterpiece of design and engineering, yet things do go wrong. When they do, it can be awful. So those people need our prayers too: for healing if God wills it, but also for peace, acceptance, strength, and comfort for all concerned.