Monday, September 16, 2013

Never Waste Your Pain

This title was the title of Rick Warren's sermon in his dramatic return to the pulpit of Saddleback Church.  My heart is grieved for the Warren family.  It is horribly painful to bury a child, and I cannot imagine the added pain to lose one to suicide.  

Rick Warren is a powerful man, though; with clout in two high profile sections of our society.   He has obviously been politically influential to have hosted both Presidential candidates in 2008.  He gave the inaugural invocation for President Obama.  Rick Warren 's picture has appeared on the front of Time magazine, which I used on the front cover of my book, entitled, "Can We All Be Wrong?"
Saddleback Church, where he pastors, averages 20,000 in attendance and is listed in the ten largest churches in the country, so he's got some religious influence as well.  His book, "The Purpose Driven Life," was a top seller for some time, appealing to many of all walks of life.
The final sentence of an article I read about him, made me think of a quote by Rahm Emanuel, which then really got me thinking.  
> > This weekend Warren was back at Saddleback, preaching a sermon titled, "Never Waste Your Pain." < <
The family has been rather quiet these past five months, according to the article, but now there is an interview coming up the night after his official return to the pulpit.  I see a real potential, even probability that this tragic event will be turned into a mental health / gun control / internet security issue.   The timing for the article and the interview is interesting in that October is National Cyber Security Awareness month.

Here is another quote from the article at CNN.
> > After what the family called a lifelong struggle with mental illness, Matthew Warren, 27, took his life in April.“In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided,” Warren wrote to staffers at Saddleback Church, his megachurch in Orange County, California. < <
This was a Twitter post attributed to Rick Warren, included in the article.
Someone on the internet sold Matthew an unregistered gun.I pray he seeks God's forgiveness. I forgive him. 6:15
I have an issue with this Twitter comment. We have no way of knowing if this individual had any idea that the young man was suicidal. Also, a sale on the internet may or may not have been an illegal act, since not all guns have required registration, in the past . . .  

I see all sorts of things advertised for sale on the internet . . . This tragedy could be instrumental in making sure there are no gun sales on the internet, as well as more registration laws. We also need to keep in mind that a gun ordered online would have taken either time or a conscious act to obtain it. The information in the tweet indicates that this suicide was not an impulsive act, but rather a calculated plan.

I am sorry for Rick Warren and his wife. I'm sorry for their other two children. I'm sorry his son, Matthew, struggled his whole life, and I'm sorry that Matthew's mental illness was fatal. I do have the foreboding thought that someone will use this opportunity to further our loss of freedom and privacy while being reminded that this pain will not be wasted.

He that is first in his own cause seemeth just . . . a Proverb of Holy Scripture

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