And He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples—letting Me be your Guide], .follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!
Matthew 4:19

This subject is hard for me to broach because it is close to my emotional self and can be a place of pain. However, the only way to overcome it is to talk about it and expose it to the light of God.

I remember just the other day that I was sharing how I overcame the thought of committing suicide. Yes, this holy ghost filled, water baptized, tongue talking preacher! Once struggled with suicide on a daily basis, and even came very close to following through on it.

The year was 1991; I was a police officer, and my life was in an uproar, and the walls were closing in on me, I felt trapped. My watch captain was not one that related well to those under his command. He was not the type that offered advice or showed that he was concerned, in fact, it was just the opposite. All he was concerned about was putting people on the street, to ensure the daily requirement of officers on patrol. I do not know maybe he had his demons to contend with, and if he showed compassion, it would make him seem vulnerable.

It seemed as though I was all alone, abandoned by the very one’s that claimed to love me. Maybe that was the problem; I don’t ever recall being told by my mother that she loved or appreciated my successes in life. My father wasn’t active in my life, so I never had the heart to heart from a father to a son or son to father. When I graduated from high school, there were no speeches on what to expect or what would lurk in the shadows. The lack warning would be the set up for the many mistakes I would make in my life. At the time, and even the earlier years life was tough; it seemed that the choices I made were all wrong.

I was so desirous to be loved that I ran from the arms of one woman to the next, falling in infatuation, because I never had a true reference point or true picture of love. Very immature, and brokenhearted as a previous girlfriend had moved from the west coast to the east coast. I found myself involved in an office fling with a female colleague that turned into a marriage that should have never taken place.

You see I was a carnal-minded Christian, that felt it was alright to enjoy the delights of the female body and still attend Sunday service, Bible studies, and other events, acting like nothing was wrong. Caught up in a whirlwind of mistakes, I became afraid to move, or make a competent decision in fear of being pulled deeper into despair. It was this and many other events that brought me to the breaking point. I heard voices telling me no one cared, and no one would miss me. Then it happened I broke down on the job; I found myself sobbing uncontrollably to the point that my watch captain advised that I turn my duty weapon in and go home for the day.

The only problem with his decision was that he forgot to ask for my off duty weapon; on my drive home,every emotional hurt that I had experienced in life seemed to resurface at that very moment. Arriving at home, I parked and exited my car, made the ascent up the stairs and into my apartment, with every step I became angrier, at God perhaps, most certainly at my parents for not preparing me for life. All I wanted to do was to make someone feel my pain; I wanted them to know that their lack of love, attention or direction destroyed my life or what I what I thought my life was supposed to be.

Let me stop here for just a minute to tell you that life without preparation, direction, and guidance is the battleground of the enemy, and it is here in most scenarios if no one should come along to offer help, the enemy wins. I didn’t know anything about life; balancing a checkbook, caring for my credit, managing money, women, being a father or even being a man.

I never fully understood my parents, my mother whom never talked about her childhood with my siblings and I, my father was absent I knew nothing of him or his family dynamics, though I spent my sophomore year of high school living with his mother and stepfather my grandparents. It would not be until some years later and after my mother’s death that I’d come to know the reasons she never discussed her life as a child. As for my father, I’ve yet to have that deep conversation and to this day wonder what he experienced as a young man growing up.

You see to understand the dynamics; you would have to study our culture, it is one of secrecy and cover up or gloss over; at least, that has been my experience. As a boy growing up, I longed for my father or a father figure, of which I had for the first 12 years of life. It was in the person of my grandfather James Lacey while we never went fishing, hunting or ball games it was just a joy having him around. We would on occasions get in his car and go for rides; he’d stop and get a beer and wrap it in a brown paper bag. He would let me have a sip or two and always told me; don’t let your grandmother know I gave you some of my beer. I thought he was just the coolest thing walking on two legs, in a matter of words he was my hero. It was the time spent with him, cutting his lawn or washing his car that seemed to overshadow all of the turmoil that I was feeling at a young age.

The Bible speaks of raising children in numerous passages because God sees us as children though we live our lives for some into what we consider old age. God never meant anyone to meander through life aimlessly, in fact, it is supposed to be just the opposite. Life is supposed to be alive and fulfilling, building, helping, pursuing. But for sin, a great many never come to this realization.

Back to that day, now inside my apartment, I looked around as if to be taking in my last look at my life as if to say goodbye to the inanimate objects that sat lifeless on the tables and counters. I remember looking in the refrigerator; maybe I wanted the last meal before the self-inflicted execution. This recount is from over 20 years ago, so it’s a bit sketchy. I do however remember that tears continued to stream down my face as I sat down on that white couch and took my gun out of my ankle holster, lay it on the coffee table. It was a Smith & Wesson nickel plated 9mm model 5906 with a 13 round magazine; as I sat there continuing to sob, I looked around one last time. I grabbed the gun and racked a round into the chamber; I told God I was sorry. It seemed just then I heard the voice of God tell me to call my grandmother. I knew it was God because a strange feeling came over me.

I laid the gun down on the coffee table in front of me, walked over to the phone on the counter which separated the kitchen from the living room. Picked up the telephone, dialed my grandmother’s number; and you can’t possibly image all that was going through my mind at the time. After a couple of rings, she answered the phone. Holding back the tears, I said “grandma” yes she replied, “I’m calling to say goodbye.” A brief silence and the next words spoken resonated in my spirit to a particular place, she said: “Baby don’t do it.” Now I don’t know about you, but you couldn’t have told me for all of the gold in the world that these four simple words would be what was needed to prevent a loss of life. I dropped the telephone and cried until my eyes were swollen shut.

From that day until now I have never contemplated or toyed with this as a means of curing my ills. Has life been better, not always, but nothing to the extent of ending my life, that day the demon of suicide was defeated and purged from my spirit!

The moral of this very true story; someone that we may or may not know is suffering from some emotional pain and like me may not know how to fish (fend for themselves). If we take the time to look around, we will see those people out there. They are the ones that feel ignored, isolated. The ones that never get the invite to the latest happening don’t have a host of friends and in most cases are estranged from family. If we can look beyond our struggles and reach out to them and share genuine love, it might be the day you speak four simple words to save a life. Might I suggest that those words be “God does love you.” God bless all that read this post I hope it speaks to your spirit.