A friend phoned me from another part of the country just as I was about to post about Wyld's return, rejoicing.
Her call was about suicide. She announced the topic before giving me the details. At first I thought she was feeling suicidal (it has happened before) and snapped into differential-diagnosis mode. Was she thinking about harming herself? No, she was doing all right and not thinking about harming herself. Good. The conversation continued.
The part of the conversation I can repeat, which was about a young man related to a friend of my friend's, went like this. My friend said: "He'd been to Iraq, he was back, and then he got the 'you're going to be deployed again' letter."
"Oh Godde," I said. "And he killed himself?"
"Yes," she answered.
More of the wreckage of war.
This past November, a survey by CBS was quoted on Alternet with this statistic: 120 returned veterans commit suicide EACH WEEK. The Alternet article was by Penny Coleman, whose husband was one of those veterans.
God of mercy,
welcome into your loving arms
your wounded child.
May he know at last
the peace that we could not give him.
In peace may he rest,
in glory may he rise.
Give your consolation to his family:
may the love of friends
and the knowledge of your boundless love
embrace and fill them.
Fill us with deep compassion
and righteous anger,
that with your help,
in the power of the Holy Spirit,
we may, with Christ whose disciples we are,
work for your kin-dom in our warring world.
God of peace,
let us your people know
that at the heart of turbulence
there is an inner calm that comes
from faith in you.
Keep us from being content with things as they are,
that from this central peace,
there may come a creative compassion,
a thirst for justice,
and a willingness to give of ourselves
in the spirit of Christ.
****** **A New Zealand Prayer Book