My heart hurts today for people I don’t even know.
Rick and Kay Warren, pastor and pastor’s wife of Saddleback Church (Rick is the author of Purpose Driven Life), lost their son last night to mental illness and suicide. This after spending a fun evening together.
I can’t even begin to imagine what this family is experiencing right now in terms of shock and grief. Tremendous grief.
So many Psalms come to mind at this moment. Psalms that cry out to God “Why?” Psalms that beg God for mercy. Psalms that pour out of the writer’s souls, often times I imagine with much weeping as their honest words fill the pages. I pray that Rick and Kay will also be able to pour out their grief to our God. That He will hear the words they can not even speak as they grapple with this tremendous loss.
And I think about the verse that came to me in the middle of the night last night: Philippians 4:7:
I pray that their hearts and their minds will be guarded-protected-in Christ Jesus by the peace of God that we can not understand.
I pray for their church. Rick and Kay Warren, as pastor and pastor’s wife, have been by the side of many grieving an hurting people. I pray that their church will now surround them with an outpouring of love and mercy and grace—and that God will give the congregants the wisdom to know what to do–and what not to do–in this time of grieving. And as pastor of a megachurch, their loss is very public. I know that well. May God grant them privacy and quiet times in the days ahead.
And I think of their son who has now gone home, and I thank God that he had parents that stood by his side through these years of despair and hopelessness, through mental illness and depression. I read Pastor Warren’s letter to his church. This paragraph stood out to me:
“I’ll never forget how, many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said, ‘Dad, I know I’m going to heaven. Why can’t I just die and end this pain? But he kept going for another decade.”
Looking at Saddleback’s website, I see that they were going to start a sermon series on “Surviving Tough Times” Good Grief. And now they face their toughest time. May God envelope them in the arms of Christ and those who know them best.
May God grant them solitude when needed to grieve, and presence of friends and family when the need is to be held up.