Today I heard from my old friend. We'll call her "Jennifer" but that's not her real name. This girl has had a lifetime of challenges in 20 short years. And today, she was having another of those challenges. So she called me.
I met Nick some time after I met Jennifer. Nick also had been dealt a tough hand. Jenn and Nick had a bit in common and found companionship and strength in just being together. They were both patients in the mental healthcare system from time to time. It's a tough life, as I said, and if you're not a part of it, I want you to say a quick prayer of gratitude for your good luck.
So Jenn called to say that Nick had taken his own life. He was found in the river, wearing his glasses, wearing a red dress. I wonder what kind of pain he must have been in to throw himself into the river in such an outfit. I wanted to hug him and tell him that I understood and that Jesus understood and that we both wanted to wrap him in our arms and cry with him until he felt better and could laugh.
But I couldn't do that. It's too late for me to hug Nick. Too late for me, but I bet Jesus is hugging him now, telling him He understands, holding him until he felt whole again and could laugh. Maybe even putting a really great dress on him; who knows what they wear in heaven.
So I listened to Jennifer cry on the phone. She was mad at God. She asked why He doesn't help people. I thought that was good. Good question, and good that she still thinks of God as real and capable of helping. And good that she called me, of all the folks she could have called. I want to be the one people call when they are mad at God.
I listened. I cried. We hung up.
I wish I knew why God heals some folks and not others. God has healed me from time to time. God has refrained from healing me at times, too. God is God and I'm not God so I don't understand God.
But I know one day, we'll see face to face and we'll know.
And maybe I'll be wearing a really great dress.